Crude Dives On Stocks, Retail Sales

Crude oil was back under pressure late Wednesday afternoon after the US Energy Dept stocks data pegged distillates inventories rising 6.4 million barrels amid weak demand.

US retail sales fell 2.7% in December, more than double analyst's expectations, further confirming what we knew already - the US is in a deep recession.

Crude oil fell around $2 to below $36/barrel, despite statements by Saudi Arabia that it will cut production levels even lower than last month's OPEC mandate.

You know things are getting bad when even the Saudi's are starting to get jittery about the magnitude of oil's demise.