Ohio gas prices fall
Relax, Ohio motorists. GasSFlbprices are moving back down.
After hovering around $4 a gallon for a couple of weeks because of refinery problems in the Great Lakes region, prices at the pump have fallen.
The state average for a gallon of regular gas was $3.74 in Monday’s survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. That’s down 18 cents less than at the same time last week.
The Ohio price still is 13 cents higher than the national average.
Bernanke to clarify stimulus plans
Is the era of ultra-low interest rates nearing an end?
When he takes questions this week after a Federal Reserve meeting, Chairman Ben Bernanke will confront investors’ fears that rates are headed higher.
Financial markets have been gyrating in the 31/2 weeks since Bernanke told Congress the Fed might scale back its effort to keep long-term rates at record lows within “the next few meetings”— earlier than many had assumed.
Bernanke cautioned that the Fed would slow its support only if it felt confident the job market would show sustained improvement. Earlier in the day, he said the Fed must take care not to prematurely reduce its stimulus for the still-subpar economy.
Feds: Some 7-Elevens exploited immigrants
Nine owners and managers of 7-Eleven stores across Long Island and in Virginia were charged Monday with making millions of dollars by exploiting immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines, in part by paying them using the stolen Social Security numbers of a child and three dead people while stealing most of their wages.
Most of the defendants were arrested early Monday as federal authorities raided 14 franchise stores.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were executing search warrants at more than 40 other stores across the country suspected of similar infractions, authorities said at a Brooklyn news conference.
Report: Slowdown to continue for health-care costs
There’s good news for most companies that provide health benefits for their employees: America’s slowdown in medical costs may be turning into a trend, rather than a mere pause.
A report today from accounting and consulting giant PwC projects lower overall growth in medical costs for next year, even as the economy gains strength and millions of uninsured people receive coverage under President Barack Obama’s health-care law.
If the calculations are correct, cost increases because of the new health-care law should be contained within a relatively narrow market segment.
The report comes with a caveat that sounds counter- intuitive at first: Self- employed people and others who buy coverage individually could see an increase in premiums in 2014.
Selected local stocks
Aqua America, .76, 31.52 .18
Clear Channel, .61 27.75 .56
Cortland Bancorp, 10.00.00
Farmers Nat., .126.10 .04
First Energy, 2.20, 38.15—.18
FirstMerit Corp., .64,19.14 .37
First Niles Financial, .32,6.60.10
First Place Fin., .0032.00
FNB Corp., .48,11.05—.04
General Electric, .76,23.78.26
Motors Liquidation, .0422.00
Huntington Bank, .20, 7.55.02
JP Morgan Chase, 1.52,53.860001.73
Key Corp, .22,10.42.01
LaFarge, 16.81 .20
Macy’s, 1.00, 48.81.33
Parker Hannifin, 1.80, 97.75.34
RTI Intl. Metals,28.55—.12
Simon Prop. Grp.,4.60,168.5099952.46
Stoneridge 11.94 .27
United Community Fin. 4.39.16
Selected prices at 4 p.m. Monday. Provided by Stifel Nicolaus. Not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security.