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Oil Prices Hit Two-Year High on Syria Concerns

Concerns over a U.S. military strike in Syria are prompting stocks to recoil. Oil prices are going the other way.

West Texas Crude oil topped $110 a barrel today for the first time since May 2011. As fast as oil prices are rising, there’s a realistic chance that they could make it to $120 a barrel for the first time since the recession in mid-2008.

Syria is not an oil exporter.  But the concern here is that the conflict will spread to other parts of the Middle East and threaten oil supplies in neighboring countries including Iraq, one of the 10 largest oil exporters in the world.

Not surprisingly, the rise in oil prices is benefitting oil stocks. Here’s how a few of the big-oil companies are performing:

  • Exxon (NYSE: XOM): +2% today
  • Chevron (NYSE: CVX): +2.3% today, +3.5% in the last week
  • ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP): +1.6%  today, +2.3% in the last week

One U.S. official just told NBC News that we’re “past the point of no return” in terms of a targeted missile attack on Syria. An attack could come in a matter of days. Should that happen, oil prices – and oil stocks – could rise even further.

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