Oil prices ended the week with a modest rally Friday but couldn't erase one ugly October: Crude capped its biggest monthly drop since futures trading began 25 years ago, weighed down as a deflated U.S. economy crushes demand for fuel.
Oil's monumental collapse — prices fell 32% for the month — has stunned oil-producing countries while giving cash-strapped U.S. consumers a rare dose of relief. Pump prices have fallen by almost half since their summer peak above $4 a gallon — a huge drop that's expected to result in more than $100 billion in annual savings for American households.
"That's a pretty powerful stimulus to consumers," said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank Global Markets in Washington.
After trading lower most of the day, oil prices staged a late-session surge on the back of a Wall Street rally. Oil investors have been tracking equity indexes as a barometer of global economic health. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 144 points.
Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose $1.85 to settle at $67.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier falling as low as $63.12.