Monthly Archives: October 2018

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct. 27, 2018

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  • Another look

Trump’s tax break, that helped the very very wealthy in America and corporate America, is heading in the direction of something other than the very great things it was supposed to do for the country and all of its citizens.

A couple of examples: The U.S. economy slowed in the third quarter. Additionally, revenues aren’t going to come anywhere close to covering the huge cost of Trump’s had-to-have tax plan as the federal budget deficit has exploded to $779 billion, roughly $300 billion more than estimated, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

And then there’s the stock market.

With the bears in charge, here are a few bear number tidbits worth keeping in mind from CNBC.com:

– Since World War II, the average correction for the S&P500 lasts 4 months and sees equities slide 13% before bottoming.

-Bear markets average a loss of 30.4% and last 13 months and takes stocks nearly 22 months, on average, to recover.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Well, what a week it was. The only investors I can think of who may have been happy and rewarded for last week’s performance of the DJIA and S&P500 were those who shorted their positions in them.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

DJIA -0.13% YTD underwater from the previous week’s return of 2.93%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 5.50% way down from the previous week 9.85 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.

 

-S&P 500 -0.56% YTD way underwater from last week’s 3.52%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 3.84% way down more than half from last week’s 8.03%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 3.82% YTD down a lot from last week’s 7.90%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.31% down from last week’s 12.78%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Russell 2000 -3.37% YTD big way down from last week’s 0.42%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.91% big down from last week’s 2.65%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

A repeat from last week:

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 18,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 2.36%, according to Lipper. That’s higher than the 1.13% average return posted one week prior.

While the average performance of the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was above water, that’s not been the case for the other types of equity funds that Lipper tracks.

So even though y-t-d numbers have improved slightly, the following broad categories of funds have y-t-d average performances that are still underwater.

Below is a comparison of the 10/18 total returns from the previous week’s numbers:

-Sector Equity Funds, on 10/18 enjoyed an average return of -1.59, an improved from the previous week of -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, an average return of -9.30, a bit of an improvement from the prior week’s return of -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -1.61% is an improvement from the prior week’s return of -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, now- 0.67% is an improvement from prior week’s average return of -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.41% is an improvement from the prior week’s average return of-4.86%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Up In Smoke

If you bought into the rush of last week’s move by Canada to legalize pot, hopefully you didn’t bet the farm expecting to make a quick bundle.

Here’s what I mean; Below are the 52-week highs and lows of a few popular pot stocks along with where they closed on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

-Tilray ( TLRY), although it had gained 745% since its IPO in July, its 52-wk price range has gone from $20.10 to $300 per share. On Friday, the stock closed at $108.08.

-MedMen Enterprises, (MMNFF) has moved between a low of $2.61 a share to a high of $7.67 over the past 52 weeks. It closed on Friday at $4.67.

-Canopy Growth Corp (CGC) has a 52-week per share range of $16.74 to $59.25. On Friday it closed at $38.70 per share.

No new highs here.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct. 20, 2018

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  • Caution Ahead

When it comes to taking our short term investing clues from talking heads, no matter what’s happening in the market for every one whose head nods up and down another shakes theirs side to side.

So in this world of nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen day-to-day, if you were to take a step back and look out over the past few months some basic clues do show their heads and ought not be overlooked.

For openers, don’t discount the fact that the major indices are and have been losing ground since reaching new all-time highs in August and September.  Or, that the Fed has increased interest rates three times thus far this year with one more increase expected in December. Both represent ouches of sorts for equities.

As a result, Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at Wharton, who typically wears a bull’s cap, is now waving a yellow caution flag to investors with respect to  the markets performances through this year and in 2019.

Re a rising interest rate environment, Cresset Wealth Advisors Jack Ablin said: “ It is going to put some headwind on risk-taking which of course has enjoyed “only-child’ stature for the last 10 years.”

Through in the fact that America’s national debt has balooned,  things on Wall Street aren’t as rosey as some heads would like us to believe.

That said, with  caution in the wind, look out five or 10 years from now, and if we haven’t accidentially blown ourselves up or been invaded by aliens who don’t care about money or investing, interest rates and the major equity indices ought to be higher than they currently are. Perhaps.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Round and around and around she goes and where she stops nobody knows.

Depending upon the time of day or the day of the week you decide to check in on what’s happening in the markets, the performance results found could either be pleasing or confounding.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

DJIA 2.93% YTD up a tad from previous week’s return of 2.51%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 9.85% down again from the previous week 10.94 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.

 

-S&P 500 3.52 % YTD up a hair from last week’s 3.50%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.03% down from last week’s 8.48%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 7.90% YTD down from last week’s 8.60%

  • 1yr Rtn 12.78% down from last week’s 13.74%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Russell 2000 0.43% YTD down from last week’s 0.73% (it was over 10% two weeks ago)

  • 1yr Rtn 2.65% down from last week’s 2.76%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

The market moved up a bit and that positive move was reflected within the mutual fund world.

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 18,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 2.36%, according to Lipper. That’s higher than the 1.13% average return posted one week prior.

While the average performance of the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was above water, that’s not been the case for the other types of equity funds that Lipper tracks.

So even though y-t-d numbers have improved slightly, the following broad categories of funds have y-t-d average performances that are still underwater.

Below is a comparison of the 10/18 total returns from the previous week’s numbers:

-Sector Equity Funds, on 10/18 enjoyed an average return of -1.59, and improved from the previous week of -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, an average return of -9.30, a bit of an improvement from the prior week’s return of -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -1.61% is an improvement from the prior week’s return of -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, now- 0.67% is an improvement from prior week’s average return of -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.41% is an improvement from the prior week’s average return of-4.86%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • City Opportunities

If San Francisco and New York City are your kind of cities, a report of Glassdoor shows they don’t necessarily offer the best prospects for jobs—and we all know that the cost of living in either can be astronomical.

On the other hand, Glassdoor results show that it’s the smaller cities where work can be found. Add to that the bonus of a lower cost of living it all the makes smaller cities worth looking into.

In case you’re interested, here are the top five cities in Glassdoor’s list of the 25 best cities for jobs in 2018:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Louis, MO
  3. Indianapolis, IN
  4. Cincinnati, OH
  5. Hartford, CT

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POCKETBOOK: Week Ending Oct. 13, 2018

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    Worth a look and a reminder.
  • Time to get high?

On Wednesday, October 17, Canada will legalize recreational marijuana. That’s big news for anyone who isn’t afraid of sin stocks, and, who is willing to take a chance on a growing, ever-changing, speculative and bottom line risky business.

According to a Bloomberg piece on Yahoo!Finance.com, there are 135 publicly traded pot companies in Canada. How many will be around in a year from now is anybody’s guess. My guess is that figure will be halved. And of that half, maybe 6-10 worth a look.

That said, here is a small sampling of some of the largest pot companies around in no particular order and without recommending: Tilray ( TLRY), it’s up 745% since it IPO in July; Canopy Growth Corp (CGC); Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACBFF); Aphria Inc.; Cronos Group Inc. (CRON); and Hexo Corp. (HYYDF).

These companies, and many more,  need to be seriously and thoroughly researched before investing even a nickel-bag’s worth of your hard-earned cash into as there is much much more to each of them than meets the eye.

Bottom line: Stoners would be wise not to participate in –what could be a huge rush into the cannabis market– until they are clear-headed.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Oh boy. If stocks continue in last week’s downward direction you can pretty much kiss this year’s profits goodbye. Particularly, if you’re an index investor.

So even though a new high was reached for the DJIA on Oct. 3, 2018, that average lost big time y-t-d performance ground when compared to its previous week’s performance.

Lower performance figures for the y-t-d figures were also true for the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ—both losing nearly half of their performance returns for 2018.

But it was the Russell 2000 that experienced the biggest hit–it’s y-t-d figure is nearly flat. Ouch.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

DJIA 2.51% YTD way down again from previous week’s return of 6.99%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 10.94% way down again from the previous week 16.12 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.

 

-S&P 500 3.50 % YTD down and about ½ of what it was re last week’s 7.93%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.48% way down from last week’s 13.07%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 8.60% YTD way down from last week’s 12.82% (1/2 of what it was in late September.)

  • 1yr Rtn 13.74% way way down from last week’s 18.27% (nearly ½ of what it was in late September.)

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Russell 2000 0.73% YTD hugely down from last week’s 6.29% (it was over 10% two weeks ago)

  • 1yr Rtn 2.76% way way down from last week’s 7.94%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

As you no doubt expected, equity funds lost ground last week, too.

How much? Well, at the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 11,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 1.13%, according to Lipper.

That’s not much to crow about and makes fixed-income, such as short-term CD investing, look pretty attractive: Little risk and short-term money lockup time always looks attractive when equity markets dive.

Other broad Lipper headings ended last week like this:

-Sector Equity Funds, -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.86%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Save Your Self

According to a recent CNBC.com business news story relying on data from the FDIC, the top 1 percent of earners have $113 million in their banking and retirement accounts. Their average account balances translates to $2.5 million. Oh my.

On the other hand, the bottom 20 percent of earners have an average of $8,720 saved with a median amount saved of $0.

A more specific look at wage earner savings results looks like this:

-Top 10%–average household with savings, $989,430. Median households with savings, $173,860.

-60 to 79.9%—average household with savings, $148,600. Median households with savings, $96,800.

-40 to 59.9%—average household with savings, $82,730. Median households with savings, $54,930.

-20 to 39.9%—average household with savings,$46,950. Median households with savings, $26,450.

-Bottom 20%—average household with savings, $22,600. Median households with savings, $0.

Speaking from experience, it takes a yacht load of money to live life after you’ve passed age 70. Even with an average Social Security check in the neighborhood of $1,300 a month or a plump one of over $2,000 coming in—money flies out of one’s pocketbook, savings and investment accounts faster than you can imagine.

Believe me on that one.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct .6, 2018

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  • Numbers

Listen up, people. It’s time to start really looking at the numbers—your financial numbers– rather than listening to talking heads saying that all is rosy in America. And, that the economy is humming along just fine and that the unemployment rate is prof of that; that everyone’s retirement accounts are plumper than ever and that inflation is under control even though prices on our goods and services—like those on gas and health care–are going up while not so much for salaries.

For instance, of the roughly  50% of working folks who do have investments, how rewarding have they really been this year? A look back absolutely does show huge upwards gains in the market over the past nine-plus years. But in 2018, the returns haven’t been so hot year-to-date.

With the DJIA up about 7% and S&P500 up 8%, as of Friday’s close, those indices over the last couple of weeks have been falling. Along with that slide, their 1-year returns have fallen as well.

In this, our Great Money Game, the only thing that really matters is how well your investments are working for you. And from what I hear, most investors prefer listening to what the talking heads say rather than taking the time to look at the particulars of their own investments.

Turns out many of us really are quite lazy when it comes to keeping tabs on our holdings. Until, that is, a crash or correction comes along And then it’s a big , “What the heck happened?” What happened was you weren’t paying attention.

So if you’re an investor, please do me a favor: Take the time to open and then read the statements you’ve received from your various brokers and in you online accounts. That would include the statement for September’s performance and those reflecting that of the third quarter of 2018.

And if you don’t really understand how to read all of that information, or have a clear-cut idea of where your money is invested, please take the time to make the appropriate calls to find out.

It is after all, your money and not the markets.

Do that and I’ll guarantee you that  the performance numbers in your accounts will be different from those TV and online talkers talk about.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Even though a new high was reached for the DJIA on Oct. 3, 2018, that average lost y-t-d performance ground when compared to its previous week’s performance.

A lower performance for the y-t-d was also true for the S&P 500. And bigger chunk losses were tallied on both the NASDAQ and the Russell 2000.

Hum.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Sept. 29, 2018.

DJIA 6.99% YTD down again from previous week’s return of 7.04%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.12% down again from the previous week 18.22 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.

 

-S&P 500 7.93 % YTD down again from last week’s 8.99%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 13.07% way down from last week’s 16.09%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 12.82% YTD way down from last week’s 16.56%

  • 1yr Rtn 18.27% way way down from last week’s 24.68%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Russell 2000 6.29% YTD way down from last week’s 10.49%

  • 1yr Rtn 7.94% way way down from last week’s 13.96%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 27,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 8.70%. That’s down a bit from two weeks ago when the average was week’s 8.96%, according to Lipper.

Taking a longer look back, the average return for the past 52 weeks was 14.83%. Look out two years—9/22/16 through 9/27/18—the total return for this entire group was 15.17%; for the past three years it was 13.29% and over the past five years, 10.10%.

In other words, the look back is a positive two-digit one.

The same can’t be said for funds that fall under the broad Sector Equity Funds heading. Average total returns there range from: y-t-d of 2.32%; 52 weeks, 6.56%; 2 years, 6.51%; three years, 8.44% and five years, 5.34%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Time for Gold?

Gold has been an unenthusiastic participant in the markets over the past oh-so many years. But maybe, just maybe, with Wall Street’s bull looking tired and inflation creeping up and not so hot reports from various world economies, maybe it’s time to take a look at gold.

In the old world,( that would be the one that ended in 1999), investment advisors  suggested a 5% position in gold for many of their clients’ portfolios to ward off all sort of possible market demons—like bears and inflation.

But like I said, that was in the old-world. In this not so new  millennial, I’m not sure what the investment advice is but for sure gold has had a rough go of it. Perhaps that’s about to change. We shall see.

That said, at 12:05 today, (10.8.18), the ask price for an ounce of gold was 1186.20, according to KITCO.com.

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POCKETBOOK: Week Ending Sept. 29, 2018

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  • October High

Turns out, if you’re a fan of #1 hits, October has been the #1 performer in monthly stock market performance over the past 20 years, according to the Bespoke Investment Group.

Looking ahead, time will tell how the 10th month of this year will perform but talking heads continue to guess upward.

Navellier’s Marketmail recent newsletter points out that one of the reasons for the overall stock markets good performance this year has been due to buybacks.

How so?

When a company decides to actually buy back its publicly traded shares, that literally reduces the number of shares available for investors to purchase. As a result, if the stock is a popular one, the more people wanting to purchase shares of the company, the higher its per share price goes.

Popularity pays.

If the stock is not in hot demand,  there are still fewer shares available which is kinda often always a good thing for a corporation’s coffers.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A downer of a week for all four indices followed here.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

DJIA 7.04% YTD down from previous week’s return of 8.19%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 18.22% down from the previous week 19.61 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16. The previous high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71.

 

-S&P 500 8.99 % YTD down from last week’s 9.58%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 16.09% down from last week’s 17.08%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 16.56% YTD up from last week’s 15.70%

  • 1yr Rtn 24.68% up a tad from last week’s 24.36%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Russell 2000 10.49% YTD down from last week’s 11.51%

  • 1yr Rtn 13.96% way down from last week’s 18.57%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 27,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 8.70%. That’s down a bit from two weeks ago when the average was week’s 8.96%, according to Lipper.

Taking a longer look back, the average return for the past 52 weeks was 14.83%. Look out two years—9/22/16 through 9/27/18—the total return for this entire group was 15.17%; for the past three years it was 13.29% and over the past five years, 10.10%.

In other words, the look back is a positive two-digit one.

The same can’t be said for funds that fall under the broad Sector Equity Funds heading. Average total returns there range from: y-t-d of 2.32%; 52 weeks, 6.56%; 2 years, 6.51%; three years, 8.44% and five years, 5.34%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Gas Up

AAA reports that gas prices in September were the highest they’ve been in four years. Yikes!

Nationally, that translates to average gas prices at the pump of $3.39 in 2014 to $2.85 in 2018.

Here in Florida, the average price per gallon last month was $2.77. That looks pretty  cheap compared to what it was four years ago—$3.32 per gallon.

Looking ahead, with the price of oil going up up and up, don’t expect our gas prices to go down down down anytime soon.

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