February crude oil prices traded lower during the initial morning hours, pressured by renewed European debt concerns and a higher US dollar. There are some concerns out of Europe that higher crude oil prices could further restrain demand and provide an added negative to an already fragile economy. In the meantime, some traders expect the recent slate of favorable economic data out of the US and China to continue to support crude oil prices above the $101.00 level. It seems that the crude oil market has discounted the latest threats from Iran over retaliating against US aircraft carriers nearing the Straits of Hormuz. Due to the holiday shortened week, this week's US crude oil inventory data will be delayed by one day. Expectations are for weekly crude oil inventories to have fallen around 2.0 million barrels.