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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Gasoline prices begin summer slide

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Gasoline prices are on a summer slide, giving U.S. drivers a break as they set out for the beach and other vacation spots for the Fourth of July.

The national average for a gallon has fallen for 21 days straight and is now below $3.50 for the first time since February. The reason: Oil prices have been relatively stable, and refineries are turning out more gasoline after completing springtime maintenance.

The drop may be interrupted temporarily because oil prices spiked Wednesday on fears that the turmoil in Egypt would disrupt the flow of crude in the Mideast. Analysts, however, don't expect a sharp increase at the pump, because global oil supplies are ample and U.S. refineries are producing plenty of gas.

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Oil above $101 on US supply drop, Egypt

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The price of oil rose to its highest level in 14 months on concerns about possible disruptions to Middle East supplies and signs of an increase in U.S. demand for fuel.

U.S. benchmark oil gained $1.64 to $101.24 per barrel, its highest close since May 3, 2012.

Brent crude, which is used to price oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, rose $1.76 to finish at $105.76 per barrel.

Two events propelled the price of oil above $100 a barrel for the first time since the middle of September: unrest in Egypt, and a big drop in U.S. oil supplies.

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Delay stirs broader worries about Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The sudden delay of a major part of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul is raising questions about other potential problems lurking in the homestretch.

The requirement that many employers provide coverage is just one part of a complex law. But its one-year postponement has taken administration allies and adversaries alike by surprise.

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