Crude awakening: Oil tops $71 on recovery sentiment

Back come the oil bulls. Seemingly devastated during last month's $15 oil plunge to $57 per barrel, the oil bulls have staged an impressive comeback, propelling oil through the psychologically significant $70 level, on sentiment that an increase in industrial activity will increase demand for crude.

One key driver in oil's $2.13 rise to $71.58 on Monday at mid-day? The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index, which rose in July to an 11-month high of 48.9. Readings above 50 signal an expansion; below 50, a contraction. The index hit a low of 32.9 in December 2008. Moreover, the index's new orders component, an indicator of future demand, rose to 55.3 in July from 49.2 in June.