Oil Prices Hit All-Time High

Oil has hit a true record, with crude oil futures briefly hitting $103.95 a barrel Monday. That's higher than the inflation-adjusted record set in April 1980. Prices eventually settled Monday at $102.45 a barrel. A weakening dollar is partly responsible, as investors pour their money into hard assets like oil.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with oil prices up and car sales down.

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MONTAGNE: We're following the rising price of oil, and it's now at a true record. Yesterday in trading, crude oil futures briefly hit $103.95. That's higher than the inflation-adjusted record set back in April of 1980. Prices eventually settled at just over $102. A big reason oil keeps rising is fear about the U.S. economy. That's weakening the dollar, so investors are pouring their money into hard assets, like oil.

Oil prices and the economy are taking a toll on U.S. automakers. All three automakers reported steep declines in U.S. sales last month, as consumers stayed away from pickup trucks and SUVs. Even Toyota was down 3 percent. Only Honda's sales were up by 5 percent.

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