U.S. crude oil settled at its highest level since July on Tuesday, and topped $51 a barrel yesterday afternoon. That's high in recent terms - but remember, its record high was $145 a barrel in July 2008.
On the other hand, it’s a far cry from February 11, when U.S. crude settled at a low of $26.21 a barrel. It remains to be seen how the price rise will play out at the gas pump, but it's obvious that one winner has been energy stocks. Energy shares have risen 4 percent this week alone, outpacing gains in every other sector of the S&P 500 index.
Shares of energy companies have climbed more than 14 percent since the beginning of the year, For a short while this week, they even passed utilities for a short time to briefly be the best-performing S&P 500 sector of 2016.