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Oil prices plunge to lowest levels this year

Data: Money.net; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Amid all the optimism here about the oil industry's rebound, prices took a dive yesterday to their lowest levels of the year. U.S. crude prices dropped almost $3 per barrel to close at slightly above $50.

Why? New federal data showed we're swimming in the stuff. Markets got spooked when the federal Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. commercial stockpiles jumped by 8.2 million barrels over the prior week. Per Reuters, that is "stoking concerns a global glut could persist even as OPEC tries to prop up prices with output curbs."