Is it over yet? Oil prices drop like a rock

There's been a lot of head-scratching about the exact cause of the meteoric rise in price for a barrel of oil. Are speculators driving it to turn a quick buck? Is it the weakening value of the U.S. dollar? How about increaded worldwide demand? Chances are, all those forces are playing a part in the rise of fuel prices, and no single solution is likely to fix the problem.

Just as it was starting to look like prices would rise on a daily basis for the rest of eternity, the price of a barrel of oil dropped by $16 from Tuesday to Thursday. Economists point to the dismal economic and inflation news as a main factor for the drop. All we know is that ever since gas got more expensive, everything else started to follow suit. That leads us to spend less on things that we don't absolutely need, which probably isn't good for the economy.

With news of the large drop in the price of a barrel of crude, Wall Street got all excited and responded with a couple days of very positive gains in the stock market. Good news, right? Well, oil jumped by over $2 on Friday morning alone, so we'll have to see. Is the $4 per gallon nightmare almost over? Probably not, but we can hope.

[Source: Yahoo, Photo: Getty/Justin Sullivan]

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