NEW YORK (AP) — Motorists will catch a break at the gas pump as they head out for the Memorial Day weekend.
Gasoline prices have tumbled almost every day this month, dropping Friday to a national average of $2.749 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.
A gallon of regular unleaded is 12 cents cheaper than it was a month ago, 8 cents cheaper than just a week ago. The timing couldn't be better for holiday travelers.
AAA says 1.6 million more Americans will hit the highways this weekend than last Memorial Day, but the travel club expects them to spend less than last year.
Gasoline is cheaper in part because of a plunge in oil prices. Crude's fallen more than 15 percent since it hit an 18-month high of $87.15 on May 3. Oil has since rebounded, and that may eventually push pump prices higher later this summer.
Crude prices dropped again on Friday, as stock markets retreated from Thursday's big gains on new worries about Europe. Rating agency Fitch downgraded Spain's debt. The euro fell and the dollar gained strength. Oil contracts are traded in U.S. currency, and a stronger dollar makes them more expensive to buy with foreign currency.
The benchmark oil contract for July delivery lost 60 cents at $73.95 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude fell 80 cents to $73.87 on the ICE futures exchange.
This week, oil rebounded from the lowest levels since July as investors set aside worries about the European debt crisis and focused on improving economic data. Investors also were encouraged when the Chinese government said it wasn't rethinking its investments in European countries' debt.
Despite the drop in oil Friday, "we've had a huge momentum swing back to the upside," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates.
In other Nymex trading in June contracts, heating oil fell 0.69 cent at $1.9925 a gallon, and gasoline futures lost 1.53 cents at $2.0236 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.3 cent to $4.291 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of San Diego's most treasured attractions - SeaWorld's Bayside Skyride. Since 1967, more than 20 million guests have soared above Mission Bay on its iconic gondolas.
Investigators working to identify and track down a man who fatally assaulted a well-liked transient in downtown Ocean Beach released surveillance-camera footage of the suspected killer Friday.
A woman who stole $565,000 from the Escondido concrete business where she worked and gambled the money away at local casinos was sentenced Friday to six years in state prison.
San Diego civic and business leaders are scheduled to travel to Vancouver next week to strengthen trade ties with Canada.
San Diego-based ships and sailors in the carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson returned to San Diego Friday after a deployment of more than five months.
Gayle King, “CBS This Morning” co-host and editor at-large of “O, the Oprah Magazine,” will join Oprah Winfrey this summer as they embark on their maiden "Share Your Adventure” expedition.
News 8's Ashley Jacobs introduces us to a smorgasbord of exciting entertainment from around the globe as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park kicks off Summer Safari fun.
The coauthors of an international best-seller took a break from their cross-country tour to inspire positive change in the lives of women in San Diego.
Residents are concerned at a local dog park after at least one dog got sick and died after spending time there.