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Surge in oil prices may not last long

Oil prices have jumped by more than one-third since June on signs of stronger growth around the world and fear of instability in the Middle East.

But they remain far below their 2014 peaks, and U.S. producers are pumping at a record rate, leading some experts to bet the higher prices won’t last long.

Yesterday, Brent crude, the benchmark international price, was down 27 cents to $63.25, while the standard for U.S. oil was up 10 cents to $56.84. Those are sharp increases since mid-June — about 35 percent for U.S. crude, nearly 40 percent for Brent.

Diane Swonk, chief economist of DS Economics, said discretionary spending by consumers seems to be steady despite the increase that has already shown up at the pump, thanks to a stronger economy and job growth.

Zuckerbergs give $12M to Harvard

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are giving Harvard University $12.1 million to help low-income undergraduate students pursue public-service jobs.

Harvard said the grant will provide financial support for up to 2,300 students over the next 15 years.

The school’s Stride scholarship program for public service will be renamed the Priscilla Chan Stride Service Program, after Zuckerberg’s wife.

Priscilla Chan is a 2007 Harvard graduate who participated in the program, working at an after-school program in Boston. She said she hopes the grant will give more students the “ability to choose service.”

Harvard said the grant also will expand year-round scholarships and mentorships for low-income students seeking community service fellowships.



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