Nokia stock dips 18 percent as company cuts forecasts

Nokia shares slumped to the lowest price in 13 years in Helsinki trading Tuesday after the company cut its forecasts for its devices and services on lower prices and competition from Google and Apple.

Second-quarter sales at the devices and services division will be “substantially” less than the projected range of $8.8 billion to $9.5 billion, the company said. The unit’s operating margin will also fall short of a forecast range.

Nokia’s stock has lost about three-quarters of its value since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop turned to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 after determining that its own Symbian and MeeGo systems couldn’t keep up with the iPhone and Google’s Android.

Nokia dropped 18 percent, to 4.75 euros or $6.83, the lowest intraday price since February 1998.

Energy prices cooling off in time for summer travel

Oil and gasoline prices finally hit the brakes last month.

After surging to the highest levels since 2008, oil dropped 10 percent in May and gasoline slipped nearly 4 percent.

Analysts say the slump will ripple through petroleum markets around the world, affecting fuel prices everywhere.

Crude oil futures dropped early in May as a growing number of industry and government reports showed plentiful supplies and falling demand. The dollar grew stronger against other currencies during the month, and that helped push oil lower as well.

Oil is priced in dollars and becomes less attractive to buyers with foreign currency as the dollar gets stronger.

Stocks end month lower despite recent advances

That screeching sound you heard in May? That was the stock market.

While the month ended with four days of gains in most of the indexes, concerns about high gas prices, tornadoes and flooding in the South, the post-tsunami slowdown in Japan and a growing debt crisis in Europe sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index down 1.4 percent in May.

That decline followed a 2.85 percent gain in April, which followed gains that set the fastest first-quarter pace since 1998.

May was the first down month for the S&P since August 2010.

Chemical giant Ashland expands in $3.2 billion deal

Ashland Inc. will spend about $3.2 billion to buy International Specialty Products Inc., expanding its presence in high-growth markets including personal care, pharmaceuticals and energy.

The deal, expected to close before the end of the fourth quarter, should immediately add to Ashland’s earnings per share.

The transaction is expected to save the Covington, Ky., company approximately $50 million by the second year after the acquisition’s closing by eliminating redundancies and making operations more efficient.