Bears still in charge as oil plunges to $40

So much for that nascent oil rally. In this oil market, the bears rule. True, the bulls have their moments, but these are fleeting, like that proverbial church mouse that sneaks out for a peak from time to time, only to be chased back into its hole by the parish cat.

Oil's free fall resumed in earnest Monday, as the world's most important commodity plummeted $4.27 to $40.45 per barrel on renewed concern that a prolonged recession in the U.S. and internationally will reduce oil demand.