Cost of gasoline in Maine goes up 2 cents in week

AUGUSTA – The cost of gas in Maine is on the rise again.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the average retail price of a gallon of gas in the state rose more than 2 cents in the past week to $3.54. The site surveys more than 1,200 Maine gas stations.

The price of gas in Maine remains 28 cents above the national average, which was unchanged in the past week.

Prices in Maine are now 9 cents per gallon higher than the same day a year ago and less than a penny higher than a month ago.

Stock market comes down from Friday’s five-year high

NEW YORK – Investors started the week on a cautious note, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 index down from the five-year high it reached Friday.

The move lower Monday is likely the result of traders taking some winnings off the table after the stock market’s surge last week, said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. Investors are also preparing for corporate America’s seasonal parade of earnings reports, which starts Tuesday.

The S&P 500 fell 4.58 points to close at 1,461.89. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50.92 points to 13,384.29, while the Nasdaq composite dropped 2.84 points to 3,098.81.

Agency: Electric, hybrid cars need to make more noise

DETROIT – A government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when traveling at low speeds so pedestrians can hear them coming.

The cars and trucks, which are far quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, don’t make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday.

The proposed rule would require the cars to make additional noise at speeds under 18 mph. NHTSA says the cars make enough noise to be heard at higher speeds.

Automakers would be able to pick the sounds that the cars make from a range of choices. Similar vehicles would have to make the same sounds. And the government says pedestrians must be able to hear the sounds over background noises.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule. The agency will use the input to craft a final rule.

NHTSA estimates that the new noise would prevent 2,800 pedestrian and cyclist injuries during the life of each model year of electric and hybrid vans, trucks and cars.

The rule is required by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act that was passed by Congress in 2010.

Apple reports 2 billion apps downloaded in December

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple says people have downloaded more than 40 billion apps for the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch, nearly half of them in 2012.

Apple Inc. said Monday that December saw record downloads of more than 2 billion apps. There are 775,000 individual applications available in the app store. Apple says it has paid app developers more than $7 billion.