I'm not an investor nor into playing the markets, but I'm staring at a graph right now showing that the price of a barrel of crude oil on the New York Merchantile Index hit $100 shortly after noon EST today, and even I know that's kind of a big thing. This is for the price of crude oil futures for February delivery, which we hope a business major will explain in the comments, but nevertheless marks a new all-time high for the cost of crude oil and that's news. It's been close to $100 a barrel a couple of times in the past few months, so passing this "symbolic level" for the first time doesn't really change anything overnight, especially since it stayed that high for just a bit before falling again. $100 a barrel, though, isn't far off from the all-time inflation-adjusted high of $102 a barrel we were paying for crude oil back in 1980 after the Iranian Revolution.

[Source: International Herald Tribune, Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty]

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