Gas prices usually head higher during the spring and summer but not this year. The American Automobile Association’s new forecast says drivers are likely to pay less this summer, with prices dropping to below $3.40 a gallon in most states by July, down from today’s average of $3.55. As long as there aren’t what AAA calls “refinery problems or significant international news events,” the trend of lower prices is likely to continue. Ample refinery production and weak demand are reasons for the expected price drop. April gas prices are at their lowest since 2010. West Texas crude is close to $93 a barrel on oil futures markets. The decline in gas costs could lead to a busier summer driving season.
Apple is selling $17 billion in bonds – the biggest corporate bond sale in history. It’s part of Apple’s effort to raise money it plans to give to shareholders through dividend payments and stock buybacks. Apple is sitting on $145 billion in cash, more than enough for the $100 billion cash return program it announced last week. But most of its money sits in overseas accounts, and the company doesn’t plan to bring it to the US unless the federal corporate tax rate is lowered. Raising the money through a corporate bond sale gives Apple a tax benefit, since interest payments on corporate debt are tax-deductible. Market participants say the $17 billion is spread across six types of bonds, including a three-year note and a 30-year bond.