The price of crude oil changes daily because it is sold as a commodity on various stock exchanges and is subject to the buying and selling volatility of day-to-day trading. Daily movements by themselves typically do not alter the purchasing habits of distributors, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Crude oil is sold on many national stock markets alongside other energy products, such as ethanol, natural gas, gasoline and heating oil. Crude oil is represented on the New York Mercantile Exchange with the alphabetic symbol WTI, which stands for West Texas Intermediate. Other types of crude oil traded on national commodities markets include Brent Crude from the North Sea, Dubai Crude, Oman Crude and Urals oil.