It was a tale of two extremes in this week's energy inventory report from the Department of Energy. In the case of crude oil, the direction was down. Following last week's large decline of over 5 million barrels, traders were expecting stockpiles to fall by an additional 3 million barrels this week. The actual decline, however, was more than 3.5 times that at 10.585 million barrels, and represents the largest weekly decline this year and the largest two-week drop since July.
While crude inventories saw a much larger than expected decline, gasoline stockpiles rose more than expected. In this week's report, traders were expecting stockpiles to rise by 2 million barrels. Here, the actual increase was more than triple that at 6.717 million barrels. This was the largest weekly increase since January.