Dropping demand sent a barrel of oil dipping below $70 for the first time in 14 months yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports. Prices have dropped more than 50% in three months—a sign of a deeply troubled economy, but one that could help the world recover as companies that budgeted for $100-plus oil find themselves with extra cash.
If oil stabilizes at around $80, as many expect, "that will amount to essentially a $275 billion stimulus package to the US economy," one analyst observed. OPEC has called an emergency meeting to discuss cutting production. In the financial world, the need for cash is forcing traders to frantically unload oil futures—which some had thought would be edging close to $200 by now.