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Sector Update: Energy Shares Firm; Crude Falls Below $90 a Barrel Mark

NYMEX Benchmark Crude October: (-1.6%) to $88.74

Top Energy Stocks

XOM: +0.9%

CVX: +1.0%

COP: +1.4%

SLB: -0.7%

OXY: +1.0%

Energy shares are firm even as crude oil futures falls below the $90 a barrel mark after a sharp drop last week in crude inventories was offset by higher-than-expected builds in gasoline and distillates.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery traded down 1.6% to $88.74 a barrel. In other energy futures, heating oil was down 0.07% to $2.93 a gallon while natural gas was up 2.44% to $4.07 per million British thermal units.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is down 1.03% to $34.49. The United States Natural Gas ETF ( UNG ) is up 1.89% to $10.22.

The federal Energy Information Administration reported that crude supplies fell 6.7 million barrels, or 1.9%, to 346.4 million barrels compared with the week before. Inventories were 3.1% lower than last year. Analysts were looking for inventories to fall by 2.9 million barrels, according to Platts survey.

Gasoline inventories, however, gained 1.9 million barrels, or 0.9%, to 210.8 million barrels, while analysts had expected a 400,000-barrel decline. Distillates, which include heating oil and diesel fuel also rose by 1.7 million barrels; analysts were only looking for a 1-million-barrel gain.

In mid-day energy news, ADRs of BP ( BP ) are higher as traders react to a report on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. A federal inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon disaster notes that blame for the incident is to be shared, and the lead cause of the event was the cement job, according to a Dow Jones Newswire report.

Halliburton ( HAL ) was in charge of the cementing process, the report said.

BP shares are up 4.77%, or $1.74, to $38.19.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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