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Financial 411: Two Years After the Wall Street Crash

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oil, Gas Prices Head Higher

Oil continues a steady rise in price. The cost of a barrel of oil gained more than a $1 to close above $105 in trading today. OPEC said it's increasing production to make up for the oil that's no longer flowing out of Libya.

"The way things are going, the sky is the limit for both gasoline prices and for oil prices. The rift that we're seeing in the Middle East is unlike anything we've seen before," said Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at PFGBEST. "More oil is at risk than at any time in recent memory."

As the price of oil goes up, so does the price of gas. The Energy Department reported Monday that the average gallon of gasoline jumped 14 cents last week, to $3.52 cents. Prices are now 77 cents higher than a year ago.

Southwest Airlines Hikes Ticket Prices


Consumers aren't just spending more at the pump. Airlines continue to increase their prices to account for higher fuel costs. The latest carrier to boost its fares: Southwest. It is adding $10 to many roundtrip domestic tickets. Last week, Delta and American raised their prices — Delta by $20.

Southwest carries more U.S. passengers than any airline and wields great influence over prices.
   
FareCompare.com, a site that tracks ticket costs, said a ticket that cost $200 at the beginning of the year would cost about $260 today.

A Look Ahead at this Week's Business News

There aren't a lot of economic reports set to come out this week. But economic observers are closely tracking oil, and the impact it will have on economic growth.

The trial of Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon hedge fund, starts Tuesday. He's accused of insider trading, and is expected to possibly take the stand in this case.

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