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Oil prices climb higher

Oil climbed higher today, while natural gas declined after surging 14% higher on Monday's session. From CBSnews.com:

Oil prices climbed Tuesday as energy traders kept an eye on supply threats ranging from a tropical storm in the Caribbean to fighting in the Middle East.Natural gas futures plunged 7.5 percent, giving up more than half of the gains from a Monday rally fueled by a heat-induced surge in electricity demand.

Light sweet crude for September delivery rose 55 cents to $74.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where gasoline futures jumped by more than 5 cents to $2.27 a gallon.

In London, September Brent crude rose 32 cents on the ICE Futures exchange, to $75.47 a barrel.

The strength in gasoline came as refiner Valero Energy Corp. said during a conference call that units at two of its plants _ one in Louisiana, the other in Texas _ would be shut for the next week for repairs, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

"We're moving into a very strong seasonal trend" for energy prices to move higher, said Societe Generale commodities analyst Mike Guido.

We'll have more on oil and gas later in the week. Stay tuned for an interview with energy investor Bill Powers, of Powers Asset Management. We discuss his forecast for $80 oil and the future of natural gas, uranium, and alternative energy.

Energy watchers and investors: I highly recommend that you read this!

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