Gasoline futures advanced Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, encouraged by reports of diminishing stocks and good demand. Crude and heating oil also were mostly higher.
On other markets, soybeans rallied strongly while the grains mostly were weaker. Livestock and meats declined sharply and precious metals were lower.
Crude oil for delivery in June got as high at $19.50 a barrel for the first time since January, 1986, but failed to hold the gains.
"This was a major resistance area, but it did not penetrate," said Nauman Barakat, an analyst in New York with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.