Friday, July 25 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:45:50 GMT
President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress...Full Story >
Pressing for action on Friday, President Barack Obama urged Central American presidents and congressional Republicans at home to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families crossing the southwest border of the U.S.Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:33:36 GMT
French officials say that the wreckage of an Air Algeria plane which crashed with 116 people aboard has been found in Mali.Full Story >
Aviation experts, criminal investigators and soldiers began converging Friday on an isolated patch of restive Mali to search for clues that might explain why an Air Algerie jetliner fell from the sky in a storm and...Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:23:27 GMT
An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.Full Story >
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon...Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 4:09 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:09:20 GMT
The Ukrainian army has reported rebel attacks overnight throughout the restive east, claiming that at one border crossing the rebels were supported by artillery fire from the Russian side.Full Story >
Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.Full Story >
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -
It's happening again.
It's not even close to the summer driving season -- in fact, it's not even springtime -- but as surely as February gives way to March, gas prices have begun their annual assent.
The average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.53 a gallon, according to AAA. That's 17 cents higher than it was just a week ago, and 23 cents higher than last month.
In parts of Los Angeles, drivers are already paying more than $5 a gallon.
"I'm shocked. I don't know what happened," Diana Griffitts, a motorist filling up at a downtown LA station, told CNN. "Just a week ago I paid under $4 a gallon. I'd like an explanation."
Well Diana, we'll try.
Analysts say gas prices are going up for two basic reasons: oil prices are rising, and refineries are shutting down.
Oil prices have jumped 10% over the last two months. The price of crude accounts for 68% of the cost of a gallon of gas, according to the Energy Information Administration. Other costs include refining (8%), marketing and distribution (11%), and taxes (13%).
Energy analysts say oil prices are rising partly because the economy is improving. The U.S. housing market had its best year in the last five, U.S. job growth is steady, and the Chinese economy is showing an uptick.
OPEC production cuts are also causing oil prices to rise. The cartel is believed to have cut production by about 1 million barrels a day over the last few months, partly as a response to rising oil production elsewhere, notably the United Sates.
On the refining front, several refineries have either shut down or are about to for maintenance before the switch to summer gasoline, which often has to be formulated to prevent smog buildup in the warmer weather. That comes on top of the closure of a Hess refinery in New Jersey last month, which was reportedly losing money.
"There's no shortage," said Andrew Lebow, an energy broker at Jefferies Bache in New York. "But there's anticipation that as refineries go down, stockpiles will draw."
Investors are moving their cash into energy futures, attracted by the improving economy and potentially lower gasoline supplies.
In early December, 11.7% of the most commonly traded U.S. oil futures contracts were held by investment funds betting the price would go higher, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As of last week, that number jumped to 15%.
That money-movement ritual happens every spring, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Each year, though, it seems to be happening earlier and earlier, he said.
Fortunately for motorists, prices this year are not expected to be as high as last year.
Thanks to an oil and gas production boom in this country, peak gasoline prices are expected to top out somewhere between $3.50 a gallon and $3.90 a gallon this year, Kloza said. Last year's top price was $3.94 a gallon, set in early April.
Average prices for the whole year are expected to be lower, too. Kloza is predicting an average of $3.25 to $3.50 a gallon. That's nice break from last year's average of $3.60 -- which caused U.S. motorists to spend a record $479 billion at the pump.
Friday, July 25 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:13:25 GMT
Police planned Friday to present their case to prosecutors on whether charges should be filed against an 80-year-old man who fatally shot of one of two burglars who attacked him when he found them ransacking his home.Full Story >
Police planned Friday to give prosecutors the results of their investigation into an 80-year-old man's fatal shooting of one of two burglars who attacked him when he found them ransacking his home.Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:38:42 GMT
Two teenagers accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a shed were sentenced to prison Thursday. Jenna Montgomery and Jess Taylor both pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery and assault charges. MontgomeryFull Story >
Two teenagers accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a shed were sentenced to prison Thursday.Full Story >
Thursday, July 24 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:05:21 GMT
The Eastville volunteer fire department confirms a tornado touched down at a campground on the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday morning, killing three people. The volunteer fire department confirms three peopleFull Story >
A New Jersey couple was identified as the victims of a tornado that hit the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort in Northampton. Full Story >