Gas prices in Maine decline 7.3 cents per gallon in week

Gasoline prices are continuing to go down in the state of Maine.

According to the website Mainegas, gas prices have fallen 7.3 cents a gallon in the past week, to a statewide average of $3.89.

The national average of $3.83 per gallon is down 8.8 cents per gallon in the past week.

Gas prices in Maine are still $1.04 per gallon higher than the same day a year ago and 2.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. 

It’s government ‘payoff day’ for once-bankrupt Chrysler

Less than two years after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chrysler is poised to pay off its government debt, Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

“Tomorrow is payoff day,” Marchionne said Monday at a grand opening celebration at Fiat of Lakeside in Macomb Township, Mich.

After raising $7.5 billion from bond investors and major banks in a deal announced last week, Chrysler plans to wire the money it owes the government today. Chrysler owes $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $1.7 billion to Canada and Ontario. 

More Europe debt troubles push Dow down 130 points

After three days of bad news about Europe’s debt crisis sent Asian and European markets down Monday, it was Wall Street’s turn.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell up to 180 points before paring back some of its losses. Another downgrade of Greece’s credit rating, a warning on Italy’s debt and a major defeat of Spain’s ruling party caused new worries about Europe’s debt crisis.

That sent the euro lower against the dollar. A stronger dollar makes it more expensive for other countries to buy U.S. exports, hurting U.S. companies that sell goods abroad.

The Dow fell 130.78 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 12,381.26. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 15.9, or 1.2 percent, to 1,317.37. All but a handful of stocks in the S&P 500 fell. The Nasdaq composite index fell 44.42, or 1.6 percent, to 2,758.9. 

Factory explosion threatens to slow production of iPad 2

An explosion at one of two factories that make Apple’s new iPad 2 highlights the risks of a global manufacturing strategy that has cut costs but concentrates production in a few locations.

Foxconn Technology Group, the contractor that makes iPhones and iPads, said Friday’s blast in the western Chinese city of Chengdu killed three employees and injured 15. The Taiwanese company said production was suspended but did not respond to questions Monday about how supplies of iPads might be affected.

Foxconn said the blast was caused by combustible dust in a workshop that polished products. It said operations in workshops that do similar work at its other factories in China would be suspended pending an investigation.

Estimates by industry analysts of the impact on iPad production ranged from minimal to up to 2.8 million units in lost output. That would be about half the number sold in the first three months of this year.