Oil shot higher Thursday in reaction to a steep draw in gasoline inventories, a draw reflecting improving demand but more reflecting lower output from refineries which have been complaining about weak margins. Oil convincingly broke through resistance at $75 to end at $77.50 with traders talking about $80 based on momentum alone. But a move toward $100 will take strong evidence of demand growth outside of China.
Good news for Friday's stock market hit after Thursday's close with IBM, Advanced Micro and especially Google beating expectations. The S&P ended 0.4 percent higher at 1,096, poised to take out 1,100 in what will inflict even greater agony on the bears. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs both released mixed results before the opening, with big credit losses at Citigroup pushing back prospects for the bank's return to profitability. Gold, which many say is overdo for consolidation, moved lower, losing as much as $20 to $1,045 before bouncing back to $1,050 at the close. The dollar for once wasn't center stage Thursday, edging 1 tenth lower on the dollar index to 75.47.