Crude oil prices top $56/barrel in choppy trading

Light, sweet crude for February delivery dropped as low as $54.90 Friday - the lowest price in 19 months - before mounting a late rally and settling at $56.31, up 72 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract on Thursday fell $2.73, or 4.7 percent, to settle at $55.59 a barrel - the lowest settlement price since June 15, 2005. The drop followed a 4.5 percent decline Wednesday.