The price of oil has shot up $11 a barrel in two weeks on rising demand in the U.S. and political upheaval in the Middle East. Gas prices are about to follow.
There’s another factor: Bottlenecks that had trapped increasing amounts of domestically produced oil in the middle of the country are loosening. As that oil reaches the coasts, it can command prices more in line with costlier imported crudes.
An improving U.S. economy, highlighted by last week’s encouraging data on hiring, is also supporting higher oil prices.
Fed officials differ on time to slow bond purchases
Federal Reserve officials seem far from a consensus on the question that’s consumed investors for months: When will the Fed slow its bond purchases?
Minutes of their June 18-19 policy meeting show many of the 19 officials said the job market’s improvement would have to be sustained before the Fed would scale back its bond purchases, which have helped support spending and growth, lifted stocks and kept mortgage rates near record lows.
Many thought the purchases should extend into 2014, according to a summary of economic forecasts that are released with the minutes.
FBI offers $100,000 reward for recovery of $1.2 million
The FBI says a $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of $1.2 million that disappeared from a currency shipment and to the arrest of those responsible.
The FBI said the U.S. currency was stolen between June 21 and 24 as it was being moved from Switzerland to New York.
The currency shipment was brought to John F. Kennedy International Airport on board a Swiss International Air Lines flight.
The money was discovered missing after a count at the Federal Reserve showed a discrepancy.
Japan’s SoftBank finishes purchase of Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel, the third largest U.S. wireless carrier, is now under the control of the Japanese investment firm SoftBank.
The change occurred late Wednesday when Softbank Corp. completed a $21.6 billion investment in Sprint Nextel Corp.
The cash-and-stock deal gives SoftBank a 78 percent stake in Sprint Nextel. SoftBank had been vying against Satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp. to gain control of Sprint Nextel, which is based in Overland Park, Kan.
— From news service reports