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The ticker

July 4, 2017 GMT

Bay State gas prices still falling

Gas prices continue to fall in Massachusetts, with self-serve, regular unleaded down 2 cents this week, averaging $2.18 per gallon, AAA Northeast reported, in the fifth straight week of decreases.

The average price this week is 5 cents below the national average of $2.23. The state was averaging $2.21 this time last year. AAA officials said tepid demand and increased oil output are putting “downward pressure” on prices.

Stocks advance ahead of holiday

Stocks rose yesterday as banks continued to climb along with interest rates, and energy firms rallied again with oil prices. Better-than-expected auto sales and a strong report on U.S. factories also boosted stocks.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 5.61 points yesterday, to close at 2,429.02. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 129.64 points, to 21,479.27. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 11.32 points, to 1,426.68. The Nasdaq composite bucked the trend, sinking 30.36 points, to 6,110.06.

Sales decline for Detroit’s Big 3

Sales in June fell 7 percent at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, 5.1 percent for Ford and 4.7 percent for General Motors amid a broader industry decline entering its sixth month.

Sales of Ford SUVS such as the Explorer, Edge and Flex were strong but not enough to overcome the 23 percent drop the automaker saw in car sales. The story was similar for GM, where new or recently launched SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Envision, could not counteract falling sales of cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze.