Average Price of Gas on the Rise Again

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has risen 2 cents a gallon over the past two weeks, to $2.93.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says that’s 53 cents a gallon higher than at this time last year.

Lundberg said Sunday it appears unlikely prices will continue to rise in the weeks ahead, however, and could actually drop slightly.

She says that’s because refiners have increased capacity and current demand is weak.

The highest average price in the contiguous 48 states is $3.69 in the San Francisco Bay area.

The lowest average is $2.53 in Jackson, Mississippi.

The average price of diesel rose one cent over the past two weeks, to $3.81.

Bayer Shares Plunge In Wake of Monsanto Weed Killer Verdict

Shares in German farm chemicals, materials and drug company Bayer have plunged in the wake of a U.S. court verdict against Monsanto, which Bayer has acquired.

Shares of Leverkusen-based Bayer fell 11 percent Monday in morning trading in Europe to 83.09 euros per share.

A jury in U.S. federal court in California delivered a $289 million verdict Friday on behalf of a former school groundskeeper who said that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.

Monsanto said government agencies and hundreds of studies have concluded Roundup is safe.

Bayer completed its takeover of Monsanto on June 7. It says it will no longer use the Monsanto name.

VF Breaks Off Denim Biz to Focus On Money-Making Activewear

The clothing company that makes Wrangler and Lee jeans is breaking off its denim division, which could generate as much as $2.5 billion in revenue each year.

VF Corp. said Monday that it wants to focus on its money-making active and outwear business. It owns The North Face and Timberland, and it’s acquired the Altra, Icebreaker and Williamson-Dickie brands.

The outdoor division will move from North Carolina to the Denver area in next year. The new, yet-to-be-named company that operates the denim and also its outlet businesses will remain in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The separation is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. It still needs final approval from board members.

National Rig Count Jumps By 13; Louisiana Gains 6

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. has jumped by 13 this week to 1,057.

At this time a year ago there were 949 active rigs.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday that 869 rigs drilled for oil this week and 186 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained six rigs and New Mexico increased by five. Alaska and Oklahoma each gained two. California and Ohio added a rig apiece.

Texas, meanwhile, lost two rigs, while Arkansas, Kansas and Pennsylvania each decreased by one.

Colorado, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged from last week.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May 2016 at 404.

Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Eliminates Most Newsroom Jobs

The (Fort Wayne) News-Sentinel has cut seven of its eight newsroom employees but says it will maintain its website and a page within The Journal Gazette six days a week.

News-Sentinel Publisher Michael Christman told The Journal Gazette the cuts made Friday were “a business decision, based on the current state of the industry, on how the News-Sentinel was going to move forward.”

Columnist Kevin Leininger was the only newsroom employee retained. Laid-off reporter Tom Davis told WANE-TV that those eliminated were given severance packages and continued health care coverage.

The News-Sentinel eliminated its six-day afternoon print edition last October.

The News-Sentinel is owned by Wheeling, West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers. It has a joint operating agreement with The Journal Gazette for business-side operations such as advertising and circulation.

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