Oil jumps to $81 a barrel in trading Monday

By Phaedra Friend Troy

On Monday morning, the price of crude oil jumped to more than $81 a barrel on positive economic news bolstered by a rallying stock market.

For the first time in months, the price of crude oil trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange topped $80 a barrel, climbing over the weekend and Monday morning.

Crude oil reached $81.30 in trading Monday morning on the NYMEX, up $2.35 since the trading floor closed on Friday.

A positive manufacturing report out of Europe helped to encourage an increase in the price of oil Monday, with stocks rallying on the news. Positive corporate earnings reports also helped to lift the stock market, with the Dow hiking 175 points higher to 10,641 and the Nasdaq jumping 39 points to 2294.

Oil prices many times share a direct relationship with stock market trades, and the price of oil was bolstered by the perception of a strenghteing in consumer confidence.

Additionally, the price of oil traditionally sees a seasonal high during the summer months, due to increased vacationing while school is out.

Furthermore, the price of oil could also climb due to production disturbances caused by major storms entering the Gulf of Mexico. In the midst of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, the most storms are forecasted for August and September. 

On the other hand, natural gas trading on the Henry Hub was down nearly 16 cents to $4.76 Monday morning.

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