Oil over 70.00 a barrel means higher gas prices. Some areas have seen 3.00/gallon and more are expected to, leaving the average consumer with less spending money. This is turn drives stocks down, particularly retailers. As you might imagine, airlines have also been hit as have insurance companies.
Bloomberg.com has a good article on the extent of the damage to US refineries. According to the AP, “Seventy dollar oil is the point where you start to get a bit more nervous,” said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist with Prudential Equity Group in New York. He said oil and refinery companies were likely to “invest like crazy” to increase supply, while consumers and companies started using less energy to reduce demand.
“My guess is eventually we’ll see prices start to come down again, but I don’t know that anyone knows when we’ll see that happen,” he said.