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The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline spiked 33 cents over the past two weeks to $4.71 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says the price jump comes amid higher crude oil costs and tight gasoline supplies. The average price at the pump is $1.61 higher than it was one year ago. Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $6.20 per gallon. The lowest average is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $3.92 per gallon. According to the survey, the average price of diesel rose 9 cents over two weeks, to $5.66 a gallon.

AP

Gas prices have increased dramatically again in New Jersey and around the nation as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $4.77, up 27 cents from last week. Drivers were paying $3.07 a gallon on average a year ago at this time. The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $4.59, up another 16 cents from last week. Drivers were paying $3.04 a gallon on average a year ago at this time.

AP

Illinois fuel retailers argued in a lawsuit that a requirement to post signs alerting consumers about a six-month freeze in the state motor-fuel tax unconstitutionally compels them to promote Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reelection campaign. The Illinois Fuel & Retail Association and others filed the lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court against the Illinois Department of Revenue. At issue is a sign retailers must post on each fuel pump beginning July 1 as a result of the General Assembly and Pritzker freezing the motor fuel tax for six months. The lawsuit says it violates the First Amendment by compelling political speech.

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Stocks wavered in afternoon trading on Wall Street Thursday as persistently high inflation continues to weigh on the economy and keeps major indexes mired in a deep slump. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, slipped 0.3%. It's down roughly 18% from the record high it set early this year, nearly at the 20% point that defines a bear market. Investors are worrying that the soaring inflation that's hurting people shopping for groceries and filling their cars up is also walloping company profits. Target fell again, a day after losing a quarter of its value on a surprisingly large drop in profits.

AP

Indiana’s sales tax charged on gasoline will barely change next month despite the recent sharp increase in gas prices. A calculation released Thursday by the Indiana Department of Revenue sets the state sales tax charged on gas at 24 cents a gallon for June. The rate charged during May is 24.1 cents a gallon. The steady sales tax rate means the state’s total gas tax will remain about 56 cents per gallon. Democrats are pushing for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to suspend the gas tax, although Holcomb says he doesn’t have authority to do so. Indiana also has a road projects tax charged on gasoline that’s currently 32 cents a gallon.

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Stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street Wednesday as dismal results from Target renewed fears that inflation is battering U.S. companies. The S&P 500, the benchmark for many index funds, fell 4%. Target lost a quarter of its value, dragging other retailers down with it, after saying its profit fell by half in the latest quarter as costs for freight and transportation spiked. That comes a day after Walmart cited inflation for its own weak results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,164 points, or 3.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back 4.7%. Treasury yields fell as investors sought safer ground.

AP
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Indiana Republicans aren’t showing signs of putting the brakes on rising state gasoline taxes even as the state government continues its streak of fast-growing tax collections. Motorists in Indiana are now paying about 56 cents per gallon in state taxes on gasoline _ the highest-ever level shown in state records _ and it will increase next month based on rising fuel prices. Democrats have pushed over the past week for Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to suspend the gas tax, although Holcomb says he doesn't have authority to do so. Democrats say he could also call the Legislature into a special session. Democratic Rep. Tonya Pfaff of Terre Haute said “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

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Stocks rose in afternoon trading on Wall Street Tuesday as investors review an encouraging report on retail sales and a mixed batch of earnings from several big retailers. The S&P 500 rose 1.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5%, and the Nasdaq rose 1.7%. The highly volatile technology sector led the gains. Several retailers were making big moves after reporting their latest quarterly results. Walmart sank after reporting earnings that fell far short of what analysts were expecting. Banks gained ground along with rising bond yields. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for mortgages, rose significantly.

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Employees are seeking to unionize at a Trader Joe’s grocery store in western Massachusetts. They join a nationwide surge of labor organizing among retail and food service workers. Organizers at the store in Hadley sent an open letter to company CEO dated Saturday. They cite concerns about pay, benefits and safety, and asked for an unobstructed union election. When asked for a response to the union organizers’ letter, California-based Trader Joe's referred to a note sent to workers at the Hadley store by a store manager promising a fair union election.