Oil futures prices dropped Thursday, sending a renewed message of low inflation into the precious metals and interest-rate futures markets.
Energy prices opened stronger, trying to extend a rally into its fourth day amid speculation that oil prices were bottoming out.
But profit taking set in, eroding some of the gains, and then ran away with the market, with heating oil plunging the extended 3-cent-a-gallon limit for daily trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil was down by the $1-a-barrel limit.
"We've not seen the market go up more than three days in a row" since the slide began in November, said Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Rudolf Wolff Energy.