Local gasoline prices surge during month

Southern Nevada gasoline prices have risen nearly 20 percent over the last month, AAA data show.

In Las Vegas on Friday, the average price for a gallon of regular self-serve unleaded gasoline was $2.584, AAA said in its Daily Fuel Gauge report.

That’s up 19.5 percent from $2.162 per gallon a month ago but down 29.5 percent from $4.05 per gallon a year ago, AAA said.

The Nevada average price was $2.595 per gallon on Friday, AAA said; the national average was $2.592 per gallon.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J., told the Los Angeles Times the rate of increase so far in 2009 has been unprecedented, up nearly 55 percent since New Year’s Day.

Some states, including Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Montana, have seen price increases of $1 a gallon or more.


Appeals court upholds sale of Chrysler assets

A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld Chrysler’s sale of most of its assets to Italy’s Fiat, but the deal will remain on hold to allow an appeal to the nation’s highest court.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will continue to delay the sale until 4 p.m. EDT Monday, unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes. The three-judge appeals court panel was expected to release a written ruling later Friday.

Thomas Lauria, an attorney representing the trio of Indiana state pension and construction funds that appealed the sale, said his clients will keep pressing their objections.


Wal-Mart says it will keep new customers

After a year when the company was the top performer in the Dow and registered record sales and profit amid retail bankruptcies and losses, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. — the world’s largest retailer — on Friday said the new customers, traffic and sales it has gained from the economic downturn are “permanent and sustainable.”

“The economic crisis has brought a fundamental shift in consumer attitudes and behavior,” the company’s new Chief Executive Mike Duke told a crowd of more than 16,000 investors and employees gathered for the company’s annual shareholder meeting at the University of Arkansas.

“There’s a ‘new normal’ in which people want to save money,” Duke said.

The retail giant also told the crowd at the meeting, hosted by entertainer Ben Stiller and featuring stars including Miley Cyrus and American Idol winner Kris Allen, that it plans to buy back as much as $15 billion in stocks in a new share repurchase program.


Regulators shut down small bank in Illinois

Regulators on Friday shut down Bank of Lincolnwood, a small bank in Illinois, marking the 37th failure this year of a federally insured bank. More are expected to succumb amid the pressures of the weak economy and mounting loan defaults.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the failed bank, based in Lincolnwood, Ill., which had about $214 million in assets and $202 million in deposits as of May 26.

All of Bank of Lincolnwood’s deposits will be assumed by Republic Bank of Chicago, based in Oak Brook, Ill., which also agreed to buy about $162 million of the bank’s assets; the FDIC will retain the rest for eventual sale.

Bank of Lincolnwood’s two offices will reopen on Saturday as branches of Republic Bank of Chicago.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the deposit insurance fund from the failure of Bank of Lincolnwood will be $83 million.

SYDNEY, Australia

Rio Tinto exits Chinalco deal, will sell stock

Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto PLC on Friday scrapped its $19.5 billion deal with China’s Chinalco, choosing instead to raise $15.2 billion in a share sale and setting up a joint production venture with rival BHP Billiton Ltd.

Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis said in a letter to shareholders the planned deal with Chinalco was now dead and his company would pay it a $195 million break fee, thus ending what would have been China’s biggest overseas investment to date.

The proposed deal with Chinalco had sparked opposition in Australia, amid concerns that a foreign state-backed enterprise would own a strategic stake in the country’s biggest natural resource assets.

Mattel, Fisher-Price to pay $2.3 million penalty

Mattel Inc. and its Fisher-Price subsidiary will pay a $2.3 million civil penalty in an agreement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for selling toys with hazardous levels of lead.

Mattel recalled more than 21 million toys made in China, including Elmo Stacking Rings and Bedtime Dora, after they were found in 2007 to have lead paint or dangerous designs.

After the recalls by Mattel and other companies in 2007, Congress overhauled consumer regulations, effectively banning lead in toys, requiring the CPSC to hire more workers and boosting fines on sellers of dangerous products.


Oil prices briefly top $70 a barrel, recede

Oil prices broke through the $70 per-barrel barrier Friday and more forecasters are broadening expectations for an upward swing in crude.

Benchmark crude for July delivery lost 37 cents to settle at $68.44 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, finishing the week with a gain of nearly $2 a barrel.

Earlier in the day oil jumped as high as $70.32 per barrel, the highest since October.

Surging energy prices appear to be outpacing an economic recovery for now, and there are concerns that consumers may pull back spending further.

Where’s GM? Follow the clicks to find it

Is General Motors Corp. gone? If you visited a pair of popular finance sites online Friday, you may have thought so.

Plug the familiar “GM” ticker into Yahoo Finance and the company had disappeared. On Friday, the stock price was listed at zero; the historical price chart stopped on Monday and listed a 75 cents per share closing price. GM shares were also off the MSN Money page; its GM page lists “N/A” where the carmaker’s stock price should be.

Google Finance ( and told a different story. Both sites put the carmaker’s shares on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the new symbol “GMGMQ” and listed them at 87 cents a share Friday, up 12 cents for the day. The sites say the volume of shares traded Friday was 105.5 million. and, two sites where would-be investors may go to buy the stock, also listed the 87-cents-a-share stock price. The TD Ameritrade site noted that GM acquired its new ticker symbol Tuesday, the day after the carmaker’s stock was banished from the 30 stocks comprising the Dow Jones industrial average.


Gates Foundation nets $10.4 million in gifts

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual report says it brought in $10.4 million in individual donations in 2008, without making an effort at fundraising.

That dollar amount does not include new money from Bill or Melinda Gates or their friend Warren Buffett, who gave the world’s richest foundation’s trust about $1.8 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock last year.

The foundation had an endowment totaling $27.5 billion as of April 1.

It began accepting individual donations in 2007. A foundation spokeswoman said then that Bill and Melinda decided it wasn’t right to say yes to Buffett and no to everyone else who wanted to support the work of the foundation.


Bond yields climb as prices decline

Bond yields jumped again on Friday as a sell-off in Treasurys continued, an ominous sign for anyone looking to buy a home or refinance their loans.

In late trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.86 percent from 3.71 percent late Thursday, as its price fell 1.03 points to 94.13.

The yield, a commonly used benchmark for mortgages and other kinds of lending, increased as high as 3.91 on Friday. That point was it highest level since November.

The yield on the 30-year bond rose to 4.65 percent from 4.59 percent, as its price fell 1 point to 93.69.

Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Varram lats you play with your pet remotely
Varram’s pet robot is designed to let you remotely interact with your real pet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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