The Costly Chill

Baby, it's cold outside. And it soon will cost more to stay warm, especially on the East Coast. On Dec. 12, prices of heating-oil futures jumped to 32-month highs on the New York Mercantile Exchange because of the recent big chill and low inventories. A gallon of heating oil for January delivery was 56.8 cents on Dec. 12, up 15% from Oct. 2. Some think the hikes won't last. But New York dealers see street prices rising 5 cents per gallon there within weeks.

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