This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

West Coast Especially Happy With Gas Prices

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- West Coast consumers are really starting to see a break on gas prices, as the average price of a gallon of gas fell to less than $4 per gallon for the first time in months, to $3.96 per gallon from $4.09, according to government figures released Monday.  

The rest of the country continued to see gas prices slide, although not as sharply as West Coast drivers, with Midwest consumers seeing the biggest price declines and Rocky Mountain regional consumers seeing the weakest price declines.  

Here's a look at U.S. gas prices this week, with figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

It's business as usual on fuel prices this week, as consumers are pulling back on demand as they weigh disturbing economic news coming out of Europe and as the price of oil falls below $80 per barrel (to $78 on Thursday).

Industry analysts also point to a lousy manufacturing report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve that essentially means U.S. companies are holding back on big capital investments.  

In addition, the U.S. Labor Department says hiring remains flat and sales of existing U.S. homes fell 1.5% in May, primarily because of a dearth of "for sale" homes on the lower end of the housing market scale.  

Even after a steady rate of bad economic news, though, lower gas prices may stimulate the U.S. economy, if only for the short term.  

How so? Because lower gasoline prices means more consumers hitting the highways this coming Fourth of July holiday, presumably spending more money in the process.  

AAA reports that 42.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the week of the Fourth (the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year), a 4.9% increase over the 40.3 million people who did the same last year. "The expected 2012 Independence Day holiday travel volume will tie the past decade's previous high mark set in 2007 and represents a near 42% increase from 2009," AAA says.  

And why not? AAA says that as recently as April 6 the average price of gas across the U.S. was $3.94 per gallon. Now, with prices at $3.53 per gallon, traveling seems more affordable.  

In a sea of toxic economic news, at least consumers are getting a break at the pumps. Expect that break to hang out for a while -- at least through the holiday.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $123.25 0.00%
FB $83.30 0.00%
GOOG $548.34 0.00%
TSLA $185.00 0.00%
YHOO $45.10 0.00%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs