Oil ends at highest since mid-December, stretching gains to an 8th straight session
Oil futures marked their highest finish since mid-December on Wednesday, stretching their streak of gains to an eighth straight session. Trade talks that ended Wednesday between the U.S. and China were viewed as positive, easing worries over energy demand. Saudi Arabia's energy minister reportedly said he was committed to "stabilize" the oil market and recent data showed a December decline in output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday also reported a decline in weekly U.S. crude inventories. February West Texas Intermediate oil added $2.58, or 5.2%, to settle at $52.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.