Average Maine gas price dips by a penny to $3.54

Gas prices in Maine trickled down by about a penny over the past week and are now averaging $3.54 per gallon.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the cost is now 7 cents higher than the national average and 65 cents more than the price in the state at the same time last year.

The average price per gallon in Maine has dropped just over 6 cents in the past month.

Holiday month shipments to increase 12%, FedEx says

FedEx expects to handle more than 17 million packages on its busiest day of the year in mid-December, as holiday shoppers continue to buy more online.

That volume represents a 9 percent increase from last year’s busiest day, and is almost double what FedEx ships on a normal day. The world’s second-largest package delivery company thinks its busiest day will fall on Dec. 12.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, FedEx expects more than 260 million shipments. That’s a 12 percent increase from 2010.

The Memphis, Tenn., company plans to add about 20,000 seasonal workers to handle the surge.

Cigna paying $3.8 billion for insurer HealthSpring

Managed-care company Cigna will pay about $3.8 billion to buy fellow health insurer HealthSpring in a deal that boosts Cigna’s Medicare Advantage business.

The Bloomfield, Conn., company will pay $55 per share in cash for HealthSpring, which is based in Nashville, Tenn. Cigna says that price represents a 37 percent premium over the stock’s Friday closing price of $40.16.

Cigna says the boards of directors for both companies have approved the deal. It is expected to close in the first half of 2012.

Oracle buying RightNow to grow software, services

Software company Oracle says it is buying RightNow Technologies Inc. for about $1.5 billion so it can offer a broader range of software and services that help businesses manage customer service.

Oracle Corp. said Monday it offered $43 per share for the tech service company from Bozeman, Mont. That is a 19.6 percent premium over RightNow’s closing price of $35.96 on Friday.

RightNow’s board has agreed to the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval. Oracle expects to complete the deal by late this year or early next.

RightNow’s main product helps companies manage customers’ questions and complaints. It is delivered over the Internet — or “cloud” — rather than by installing software directly on computers.

All U.S. McDonald’s to sell the McRib through Nov. 14

The McRib, the elusive sandwich that has inspired a cult-like following, is back. McDonald’s Corp. announced Monday that the boneless barbecue pork sandwich that is not always available in stores will be sold at all U.S. locations through Nov. 14.

McDonald’s said the response was so great last November when it made the McRib available nationally for about three weeks — the first time it had done so since 1994 — that it decided to bring it back this year.

– From news service reports