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National average for gallon of gas is $3.91; $4.04 here

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is now within a dime of $4.

Drivers in 22 states are paying more than the national average of $3.91 per gallon. In Alaska, California and Connecticut, they're paying $4.20 or more.

In the Buffalo Niagara region, the average price of a gallon of regular was $4.04 on Friday, up 31 cents from a month ago.

On average, gas prices have risen slightly more than a penny a day in April. At that rate, the national average for gas would reach $4 on Sunday, May 8. In 2008, when gas hit a record of $4.11 per gallon in July, it didn't cost $4 until June 8.

Analysts predict gas prices will actually start falling toward the end of May, as refineries increase production and more gas becomes available. That remains to be seen: Many analysts failed to predict the prices drivers are paying now, caught off-guard by surging oil prices.


Contract trading OK'd

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has decided to let companies continue to trade certain contracts used to guard against swings in currency values outside regulators' view.

New rules require that many such trades happen more transparently, on exchanges where regulators can see them. But Geithner is exempting certain contracts used by companies to hedge currency rates.

Critics, including some regulators, counter that the whole market for financial contracts called over-the-counter derivatives should face stricter supervision.

Multinational corporations such as Cargill and 3M argued for the exemption. They said the new rules would have raised their costs, thereby limiting their ability to grow and create jobs.


Amazon cuts song price

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Inc. this week launched a store that sells digital songs for 69 cents, an attempt to bring more people to its e-commerce website and bolster its plan to charge people to store tunes on distant servers known as the cloud.

It has cut the price on singles to 69 cents in the past, but this is the first time it has dedicated a page to the offering. About 200 songs out of the 15 million available have had prices cut to 69 cents.

On Friday, that included 26 of the top 40 songs, from artists such as Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Black Eyed Peas.


Hiring fair planned

Savers thrift store is hosting a hiring fair next week in its search for 45 workers to staff a Hamburg location it plans to open in July.

The new Savers, the fifth in New York, will open in the former Circuit City building at 3701 McKinley Parkway. The hiring fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at McKinley's Hotel, Banquet & Conference Center, 3950 McKinley Parkway, Blasdell.

"We're excited to open our fifth store in New York State and bring even more jobs to the region," said Mark Dwyer, the district manager at the upcoming store, in a release. "This will be our second store in Western New York. We're certain that we'll find great candidates for the store in Hamburg as we did in Henrietta."

Savers is an international retailer of secondhand goods with 270 locations. The Henrietta location is expected to open June 23.


Bid raised for Danisco

NEW YORK (AP) -- DuPont raised its $5.8 billion offer for Danish food-additives maker Danisco by about 5.3 percent in what it called a best and final proposal.

DuPont said Friday it was offering 700 Danish kroner ($139.12) per share for Danisco, and extending the offer period for the last time to May 13.

Danisco would broaden DuPont's food products as the world's population and demand for food grows. Danisco's compounds are used to improve taste and extend shelf life in baked goods, beverages, animal feed and other products.

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