NEW YORK — Oil prices are down Wednesday as traders booked profits from a 4-percent surge at the start of the year.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell by 50 cents to $102.46 per barrel in New York.

Prices dipped after surging Tuesday on heightened concerns that Iran would try to close off the strategic Strait of Hormuz, blocking oil tankers, in reaction to possible economic sanctions.

Traders say they're now waiting to see if the situation heats up following Iran's military exercises over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department says that orders for computers, electronic equipment and other "core capital goods" fell for the second month in November.

At the pump, retail gasoline prices rose nearly a penny to a national average of $3.29 a gallon.

>Chris Kahn can be reached at http://twitter.com/ChrisKahnAP