All Articles Tagged "gas prices"
Hurricane Sandy is causing all sorts of havoc. And it is also hitting the economy and even the elections. The New York Stock Exchange has already been shut down for the day. And according to Forbes, the storm is coming at a bad time for the election. “This would have been a weekend and week dominated by candidates’ final pitches. Instead, the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns canceled events. Newspaper endorsements were overshadowed by storm coverage. In some places, early voting was postponed, as well,” reports the magazine.
The airlines are also hit hard as thousands of flights have been canceled. “According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, more than 6,800 flights had been canceled for Sunday and Monday as of Sunday evening,” writes the The Washington Post.
On the upside (if there can be one in a major storm) is that stores are seeing an upswing in business as people prepare for Sandy. “Grocery store chains and department stores like Target and Wal-Mart are seeing a burst of business from shoppers stocking up on supplies they need for the storm,” the article said.
What people aren’t buying, however, are cars. October is actually the first month of the new 2013 model year. “But sales on the Eastern seaboard probably dried up this weekend, because consumers had other things to worry about… Any hurricane also means that dealerships will eventually start seeing storm-damaged cars, as happened after Katrina and Irene, which means buyers will have to beware,” reports Forbes.
Speaking of the auto industry, because of Sandy gas prices are expected to rise. “Experts warn that the powerful storm, which could seriously impact the U.S. East Coast next week, may close off the supply and stop production of oil coming from East Coast refineries, causing gas prices to go up, according to research firm Seeking Alpha,” reports the Huffington Post.
All and all, the “Frankenstorm” is making a mess. Meteorologists predict Hurricane Sandy could cause $1 billion in damages.
Stay safe if you are in the way of the storm.
Huzzah! Gas prices are dropping. If I had a car, I’d be even happier. Gas prices! Can someone do something about the Metrocard price now?
Gas prices are falling at the fastest rate in years, going down 12 cents in the past week. The national average is now about $3.65 a gallon with AAA expecting prices to go down to possibly $3.25 per gallon by Thanksgiving. Gas prices typically fall this time of year as demand drops; summer travel pushes the need for gas up. “[S]upply shortages and refinery woes on the West Coast and Midwest” actually kept gas prices high from the summer and through autumn, says USA Today.
Also falling are stock prices, which were driven down by earnings reports from major companies that indicate economic problem here and abroad. The Dow Jones was down 245 points, the S&P 500 down 24 points, and the Nasdaq was down 39 points this morning following news from a number of companies that are considered “bellwethers” for the economy. 3M, which makes everything from tape to construction products to items used for medical care said “current economic realities” were giving them pause. Dupont is cutting jobs. And Xerox stock is down 19 percent for the year.
Yesterday, Caterpillar lowered it profits projections for the year and predicted unchanged demand in its earnings report, though the company is moving forward with plans to build new plants. “As we’ve moved through the year, we’ve seen continued economic weakening and uncertainty,” said the company chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman in this Wall Street Journal article. The company has already shut down plants and laid off workers. Caterpillar is so important because, as a construction and machines company, its sales reflect the health of a number of industries including mining and building.
The AP reports that the recession in Europe is playing a big role in the bad news, which is exactly why the region should’ve been a topic of discussion during last night’s debate. Also, companies are playing it cautious over fears about an increase in taxes due to the new healthcare law and the Great Recession.
Still… gas prices.
-Research from the National Retail Federation shows that those who do their back-to-school shopping online spend 27 percent more than the average shopper. Online shopping can total as much as $874 versus the average of $688. Other figures: one-fourth of shoppers begin their shopping two months in advance; half start three weeks in advance; more parents are sending college students pre-paid gift cards (with an average of $71 available); and 30 percent of Americans say they have a child between the ages of three and 17, which is likely contributing to high enrollment numbers.
-About 1.7 million undocumented young immigrants can begin applying for temporary status here in the U.S. The move will affect people who were brought here as children. Eligible applicants are between the ages of 15 and 31; came here before the age of 16 and have lived here for five years (providing proof of residency); have finished high school, are in the process of doing so, or have served in the military; and have records that are free of serious crime. Legal status must be renewed every two years.
-If you get a raise in Atlanta or Boston, chances are you’re still broke. According to an Aon Hewitt survey, the average salaried worker got a 2.8 percent raise this year, which is barely above the inflation rate. Atlanta and Boston tied for the lowest projected raise for 2013: three percent. The best is Denver, which is projected to give 3.6 percent raises next year.
-Factory owners have been losing business to a company called Unicor, aka Federal Prison Industries, a part of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that has been working with inmates since 1934 to prepare them for life on the outside. Unicor pays its employees between 23 cents and $1.15 an hour, doesn’t have to pay taxes and doesn’t have to provide healthcare. As a result, they win business, factories lose, and they end up having to make cuts. The government is stepping in to curtail Unicor’s ability to bid for business, but the company argues that they are doing a service to their inmate workers, who they claim are less likely to re-offend.
-This is going to be the most expensive year for gas in history. National averages are now $3.90 per gallon.
A new report predicts that the sale of hybrid vehicles will increase 20 percent between now and 2015. Some of the reasons: they’re better for the environment, governments and other groups will be promoting them more heavily in the coming years and they don’t use as much oil.
However the cost of a hybrid vehicle has traditionally been cost-prohibitive. But that could all be changing. The latest model Toyota Prius splashes across its homepage that it starts at $24,000. A 2012 Chevrolet Volt is priced at $31,465.
But there are other hybrid vehicles coming to the market, and competition breeds lower prices. The C-MAX Energi from Ford, a plug-in hybrid, is coming to market at a lower price than others in the same category, once you take into account the tax credits you’re eligible for when you purchase one. And a new Lincoln MKZ luxury hybrid vehicle is going to be sold at the same price as the gas guzzling version of the same model.
The cost of the batteries that the cars use has also been a typical gripe. But analysts predict that the price of that is going to go down as well. And then, of course, there’s the money you’ll be saving on gas, though you will have to make arrangements for charging the vehicle.
So will you be considering a hybrid in the near future?
Reports are coming in from Libya’s capital city of Tripoli that the Gaddafi regime is on its last legs. While some loyal government soldiers are defending Gaddafi’s compound from attacks among other scattered skirmishes, it is only a matter of time before power in the country completely changes hands. Aided by NATO air strikes and the intervention of America and France, rebel forces made a final push into the capital on Sunday after successfully seizing control of several other major cities over the past few months.
Egypt has already recognized the National Transitional Council — the seat of the rebel government — as Libya’s “new regime,” according to The New York Times. All the world is waiting for is the capture of Gaddafi himself to seal the end of his claim on Libya. According to The Washington Post, “[T]wo of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Mohammed Gaddafi, are in the hands of the Libyan opposition” — and there are plans to try them for war crimes.
Despite this, rebel leaders will not consider their battle victorious until they capture the dictator himself. Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown, although U.S. intelligence places him within Libyan borders.
It is not clear when Gaddafi will be captured, but Libyan communities around the world are already cheering the endgame of the freedom fighters. Emigres around the globe have total faith that the death blow is coming for Gaddafi’s 42-year reign. Aljazeera.net reports:
Celebrations have spilled over from Tripoli and Benghazi into cities around the world, as the Libyan diaspora gathered to celebrate the advance of opposition forces.
At least a hundred Libyans gathered outside the White House on Monday to celebrate the rebel’s assault on Tripoli, waving the country’s flag and chanting “Libya is free” and “Thank you, Obama”.
“Tonight for the first time in our lives we are very proud to be Libyan,” Rania Swadek, a 33-year-old Libyan-American, told the AFP news service. Swadek was waving a sign showing the red, black and green rebel flag with the words ”Thank you, NATO! Thank you, Obama!”
The mother of two, who arrived in the US in 1984 with her brothers and sisters after receiving political asylum, also had kind words for France, which was among the first countries to call for international intervention in Libya.
Back in the States, President Obama has also voiced his support for the advancing revolutionary troops, who claim to control 95% of the capital. “President Obama said Libya is ‘slipping from the grasp of a tyrant’ and called on Khadafy to step down in order to avoid more carnage,” according to a Daily News Report.
The president added that, “The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people,” and vowed to support the new regime.
(Afro) — Not so long ago, Northwest D.C. florist Karen Woods could plan to spend about $100 per week on gas to make whatever deliveries she needed to make in the region. But with the recent surge in gas prices, the weekly cost of gas for Woods has more than tripled to close to $350. Woods says she is reluctant to raise delivery fees and pass on the cost to her customers, particularly since the vast majority of her business is funeral work that involves grieving families already beset with the cost of funerals and burials. “I don’t think the consumer should be penalized,” said Woods, who runs Mary Woods Florist, located on the 900 block of Kennedy St., N.W. “They’re in as much of a problem as we are.” At the same time, Woods said, something has to give. “At the moment, I’m absorbing it,” Woods said of the rising cost of gas. “But I don’t think it’s exactly fair.” Woods’ predicament represents what many D.C. business owners are facing as gas prices in the District continue to hover above the $4 mark, putting the District among the four states in the U.S. where gas cost that much or more.
(Christian Science Monitor) — With about six weeks to go until the summer driving season begins, the price of a gallon of gasoline is just 18 cents away from the record price of $4.11, which was set in the summer of 2008. The prices at the pump hit a national average of $3.83 a gallon on Monday, according to AAA. That’s close to the point where consumers say they will have to start cut back to pay their fuel expenses. This could adversely affect restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues that count on people driving to get there. Some analysts say it’s one reason the stock market has been struggling recently, including on Monday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140.24 points to close at 12,201.59. “I am sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market,” says Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Ore. “I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters.”
By Charlotte Young
Gas prices have gotten so high that some Americans have had to search for a cheaper option in an unlikely place: Mexico. On average, gas is about $1.20 per gallon cheaper in the neighboring country, so Americans living near the border are taking the drive to save money.
According to commentary by Patrick Michael with Yahoo! News, it’s time for legislation to take a serious look at options to the oil problem on both the liberal and conservative sides.
Option 1: start drilling our own oil.
With the continuous fighting in the Middle East and the recent Libyan crisis, it’s an obvious solution to stabilize gas prices. Off-shore domestic drilling would also provide more job opportunities for Americans, and this would help to increase spending.
But off-shore drilling proposals are constantly derailed by the Obama Administration. The BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill was a further deterrent to this option.
Option 2: provide incentives for Americans who buy fuel efficient cars.
A more environmentally friendly option is for Congress to enact legislation that provides a tax break incentive for Americans who buy hybrid or electric vehicles. Why not? They’re doing the right thing and Congress should not overlook it. Plus, it would help lower the demand for gas in the country.
Though these are not the only options, they do provide a starting point for a dialogue that needs to take place. After all, we all can’t drive to Mexico.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle) — Gas prices in the Peach State climbed three cents in the past week. The price per gallon of gas in Georgia is now averaging $2.75, compared with $2.72 a week ago, $2.71 a month ago and $1.91 a year ago, AAA Auto Club South reported.