Two years ago, the price of oil was shooting to highs of over 100 dollars a barrel. Today, it's not quite that high, but the price of a barrel of crude did hit $86.62 this week, its highest point in 17 months, thanks (?) in part to "growth in American jobs and service industries signaled that the economy is recovering," as Bloomberg put it. A related increase came in the S&P 500, which went up 0.8 percent to 1,187.44.

For the past six months, barrels of oil have traded at prices between $68 to $84. The Venezuelan oil minister said recently there is a $75/barrel price floor and that Venezuela is looking for oil to trade somewhere between $80 and $100 a barrel. For its part, OPEC cut production rates earlier this year to "prevent a supply glut" (and keep prices high). If the trend continues, all the money we'll make in the economic recovery can be used to pay for the more expensive gasoline. Yay.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: NatalieMaynor - C.C. License 2.0]

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