Gas tops $3.90 nationwide

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The average price of a gallon of gasoline reached the $3.90 mark Friday, after climbing 2 cents overnight, according to a survey by motorist group AAA.

With Friday's boost, gas prices have increased for 38 days in a row. During that time, prices have risen more than 36 cents, a jump of 10%.

Gasoline prices and taxes by state
Prices at the pump can vary widely among states due to a number of factors. More

While the national average remains 21 cents below the record high of $4.114, gas prices in some U.S. states have already risen to new all-time highs.

Ohio became the latest state where gas prices now average more than $4 a gallon. Gas prices in the state now average $4.054 a gallon, up a staggering 12 cents from Thursday.

Gas now averages more than $4 a gallon in nine states and the District of Columbia. But prices remain below the national average in 18 states, with the cheapest prices in Wyoming, where gas averages $3.59 a gallon.

The recent surge reflects a runup in the price of crude oil, which has spiked above $110 a barrel, up 20% in the year to date. But gas prices are also being driven by seasonal factors, including scheduled maintenance at oil refineries.

Many states require gas stations to sell cleaner blends of gasoline during the summer months, when Americans do most of their driving for the year. As a result, oil refiners often shut down for a period of time to retool, which can put upward pressure on gas prices.

While gas prices typically rise at this time of year, many analysts note that prices were already unusually high before the annual runup into the so-called summer driving season.

That's because oil prices have been extremely volatile, with turmoil in the Middle East and a weak U.S. dollar spurring the rise. In addition, demand for energy has been strong in rapidly expanding economies, particularly China's.

Meanwhile, consumers appear to be cutting back on spending as gas prices take a bigger bite out of household budgets.

Government data released Thursday showed that U.S. economic growth slowed in the first quarter to 1.8% from 3.1% in the previous quarter, reflecting pullback in consumer spending and higher prices imported oil.

The economic pain caused by high gas prices has become politically charged, with officials in Washington calling for an end to federal subsidies for oil and gas companies.

President Obama announced earlier this week that the Justice Department will form a task force to investigate possible manipulation of the oil and gas markets.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,482.16 -196.54 -1.11%
Nasdaq 4,716.23 -55.53 -1.16%
S&P 500 2,040.91 -16.18 -0.79%
Treasuries 1.82 -0.01 -0.66%
Data as of 2:49pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Microsoft Corp 42.94 -4.07 -8.65%
Bank of America Corp... 15.72 -0.12 -0.79%
Apple Inc 111.15 -1.95 -1.72%
Intel Corp 34.60 -1.21 -3.38%
Cisco Systems Inc 27.17 -0.80 -2.86%
Data as of 2:34pm ET

Sections

After a season that included harsh criticism of NFL for not doing enough on domestic violence, Super Bowl will include spot drawing attention to the issue. More

You need a lot less to get into the Top 1% in Arkansas than you do in Connecticut. More

Daniel Kottke's college days in the '70 were pretty prosaic: Pink Floyd, a pastoral campus and hallucinogens. The only thing that was remarkable was his fellow traveler: Steve Jobs. More

On demand delivery startup WunWun is expecting its order volume to double by the time they close up shop on Monday. All thanks to a blizzard. More

CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.