Oil drops to around $123 as traders look for signs of stabilization

Oil prices fell sharply Friday, dropping at times below $123 for the first time in weeks as investors questioned whether prices have cooled off enough to reflect deteriorating demand. Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell $2.33 to $123.16 a barrel in on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier the contract dropped as far as $122.50, its lowest point since June 5.