Five Maine municipalities join ‘business-friendly’ list

Five more Maine towns and cities have been designated as “business-friendly” by the state.

Gov. Paul LePage announced Monday that Pittsfield, Cumberland, Westbrook, Lewiston and Auburn had earned the designation. They join nine other municipalities that were given the designation in June.

Two municipalities that applied, Ellsworth and Richmond, didn’t make the cut.

The communities are evaluated on whether they have a business-friendly approach and have streamlined licensing and permitting requirements and reduced red tape.

They receive road signs so they can tout the award and are promoted by the state as being business-friendly.

Maine’s gas prices rise 2 cents to average $3.85

There’s more pain at the pump for Maine residents.

The price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the average retail price for a gallon of gasoline has risen nearly 2 cents in the past week to $3.85, which is 12 cents above the national average.

The national average has increased 3 cents per gallon in the last week and is up to $3.73.

Current prices in Maine are 16 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and almost 24 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

A company analyst said Tropical Storm Isaac in the Gulf of Mexico could drive up prices in the short term.

Dow Jones falls 33.30 points as Apple nudges Nasdaq up

Stocks barely moved Monday. Trading was light, even by the slumberous standards of August.

Apple was one of the only shreds of action in an otherwise dull market.

The stock shot to an all-time high of $680.87 and finished at $675.68, up $12.46, or 1.9 percent.

Best Buy, Hertz, Dollar Thrifty and other companies all moved by bigger percentages.

Apple makes up more than 13 percent of the Nasdaq composite, and helped the index grasp a slight gain, rising 3.4 points to 3,073.19. It makes up 5 percent of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which finished down 0.69 point to 1,410.44.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which does not include Apple, fell 33.30 points to 13,124.67.