Gasoline prices jumped nearly a penny per gallon nationwide during the past two weeks, reflecting an increase in crude oil prices, an industry analyst said Sunday.
The average retail price for all grades, including taxes, was $1.2834 per gallon, according to the Lundberg Survey of prices at 10,000 gas stations nationwide.
The primary reason for the increase is a seasonal boost in crude prices of about $1 per barrel, said analyst Trilby Lundberg. Demand for crude typically increases during winter months as demand for heating oil rises.
The average gasoline price was 11 cents higher than at this time a year ago, said Ms. Lundberg.
The survey found the average price at self-serve pumps was $1.2266 a gallon for regular; $1.3273 for mid-grade; and $1.4101 for premium.
Big B accepts Revco buyout
BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) -- Big B's board has accepted a sweetened $380 million buyout offer from competing drug store chain Revco D.S. Inc., the companies said today.
Big B signed a tentative merger agreement at $17.25 per share, up from Revco's initial offer last month of $15 a share, which had valued Big B and its 22 million shares at about $330 million.
Big B's acceptance comes after weeks in which it courted other offers and tried to block Revco.
The deal would give Revco, based in Twinsburg, Ohio, another 382 pharmacies in five southern states. Revco is currently the nation's second biggest drug store chain with 2,202 stores in 14 states.
Ford, Canada union begin talks
TORONTO (Reuters) -- The Canadian Auto Workers union today opened negotiations with Ford Motor Co. of Canada, the last in its 1996 round of labor talks with the Big Three North American automakers.
Ford Motor Co.'s Canadian arm was the last to sit across the table from Canada's largest private sector union and will be asked to meet a pattern settlement forged during talks with Chrysler Corp. and begrudgingly accepted by General Motors Corp. after a 20-day strike that ended last week.
CAW President Buzz Hargrove said a strike deadline at Ford will likely leave nine days for the two sides to come up with an agreement before a strike is called.
"It (the deadline) will probably be a week (from) Wednesday," Hargrove said.
McDonnell scraps big jetliner
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- McDonnell Douglas is dropping plans to build its biggest and longest-range jetliner, the MD-XX, but says it isn't leaving the commercial airline business.
The company decided that the risks involved in launching the $3 billion MD-XX project did not merit the required investment, spokesman Larry McCracken said today.
The Wall Street Journal said today that the MD-XX was viewed as essential to building a group of jetliners that would help Douglas Aircraft compete with Boeing Co. and Airbus Industrie of Europe.
Securities bill campaign expensive
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- More money has been spent campaigning on Proposition 211, a securities fraud initiative, than any other ballot measure in California history.
The resolution, which would allow class-action securities fraud suits in California courts that are outlawed in federal court, has provoked a $40.6 million battle, according to campaign reports filed in the secretary of state's office.
The previous record of $37.8 million was set in 1988 when the insurance industry supported Proposition 104, a no-fault car insurance plan.
In other business news
German consumer products maker Henkel KGaA said today it plans to gain control of chemical maker Loctite Corp. of Hartford, Conn., for $1.12 billion. Henkel currently owns 35 percent of Loctite, a maker of specialty chemicals used for adhesives and sealants. It is offering to buy the remaining 65 percent stake for $56 per share.
About 100 employees of Turner Programming Services, which syndicated television shows and movies for Turner Broadcasting System, have been told their unit is disbanding Nov. 15.
In another sign of sluggish music markets, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Records said this weekend it is cutting the national staff of its black music division by 35 to 40 percent, or about 20 people.