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Tickers in this Article: UUP, XOM, CVX, CHK, APC
New York, May 16th ( - It was another day at the office for oil futures. Unfortunately, that office has turned hazardous to the health of oil bulls as traders sent black gold tumbling once again. NYMEX-traded crude for June delivery lost 1.2% to settle at $92.81 a barrel. That's the fourth consecutive closing low of 2012 for the benchmark U.S. contract. Oil is being slaughtered by a stronger U.S. dollar. The U.S. Dollar Index has closed higher for 13 straight days. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP) added another 0.22% today and is up almost 2% in the past week. Oil is now found flirting with key technical support. Should West Texas Intermediate violate support at $92.50 a barrel, the next stopping point could be $85. Weekly inventory data courtesy of the Energy Information Administration showed another increase, this time of 2.1 million barrels. U.S. oil stockpiles remain at their highest levels since 1990 indicating oil demand in the world's largest oil-consuming country remains weak to say the least.

Amid concern that Chinese economic growth will disappoint this year and that Europe's sovereign debt contagion is spreading beyond Greece and Spain, oil traders overlooked some decent U.S. data. In economic news, the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production rose 1.1% in April following 0.6% drop in March. Economists expected a 0.6% in April. The Commerce Department said housing starts jumped 2.6% in April to a 717,000 annual rate from March's revised 699,000-clip.

With the S&P 500 sliding to another multi-month low, oil equities are proving to be a mixed bag at best. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) eked out a positive finish, but rival Chevron (NYSE: CVX) lost three-quarters of a percent and is now found testing support at $100. Below $100, next support for Chevron is found in the $94-$95 area.

What else is new? On volume that was nearly double the daily average, Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer, lost another 4.2% today and even traded below $14 before closing just above that psychologically important price. Shareholders now want the embattled company to delay its annual meeting. The stock has lost almost 27% in the past month.

Apache lost just half a percent today, but volume was strong on the downside and the stock now appears destined to trade below $80, something it hasn't done since the fourth quarter of 2011. Rival Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) lost another 2% on above average turnover. Down 12% in the past month alone, Anadarko's chart looks indicates the stock could fall to the low $60s for the first time since October 2011.

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