Oil prices continue to fall as demand for gas weakens

Oil prices dropped Monday, a good sign for drivers.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas fell 3 cents over the week to $3.955 nationally. That’s still nearly 14 cents more than it was a month ago, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.

The average price in Maine on Monday was $3.976 per gallon, down from $3.978 a week ago but still 16 cents more than a month ago.

Oil futures settled down 2.3 percent and gas futures dropped 4.7 percent Monday as investors returned their attention to weakening demand for gasoline in the United States.

Oil is now down about 15 percent in May, while gas futures are about 14 percent lower. Those declines haven’t yet reached the nation’s gas stations, though analysts say prices could fall at least 25 cents by Memorial Day.

European debt, tech issues push stock indexes lower

Technology company troubles and renewed concerns about Europe’s debt dragged stocks lower for a second day.

European finance ministers backed $110 billion in rescue loans to Portugal on Monday, but have yet to decide on a second Greek rescue package.

The arrest of the head of the International Monetary Fund is expected to make solving Greece’s problems more difficult. The official, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, had been heavily involved in trying to fix the debt crises.

Yahoo and Amazon.com fell by more than 4 percent Monday. Yahoo is in a dispute with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Yahoo owns a 40 percent stake in the company, which transferred its online payment business to another firm without consulting Yahoo.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 47.38 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 12,548.37. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 8.30 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,329.47. The Nasdaq fell 46.16, or 1.6 percent, to 2,782.31.