Oil Prices Falling

Oil prices plunged by more than $2 Monday, sliding below $58 a barrel on moderating U.S. temperatures and expectations that there will be a crude surplus in the spring.

The chill of the past couple weeks, which drove prices briefly above $60 on Friday, is expected to ease up by late February, leading traders to believe that heating fuel demand will weaken.

"We continue the roller coaster that oil prices have been on pretty much since the end of the year. After not being able to sustain above $60, the market really gave way," said Andrew Lebow of Man Financial Inc. "Now, the market's looking ahead toward warmer weather at the end of the month."

The National Weather Service on Monday said temperatures over the next two weeks will still be below normal in the Northeast United States - which consumes 80 percent of the nation's heating oil - but not as cold as they have been. Temperatures will be normal or above normal in many of the Midwest and Western states.