- - Monday, May 23, 2011

ENERGY

Gas price drops 11.1 cents in one week

The U.S. average price for gasoline fell 11.1 cents over the past week to $3.85 a gallon, as cheaper crude oil saved drivers money at the pump, the Energy Department said Monday.

The national gasoline price is still $1.06 higher than a year ago, based on the department’s weekly survey of service stations.

ELECTRONICS

Sony to report $3.2 billion annual loss

TOKYOSony Corp. is expecting an annual loss of $3.2 billion, reversing its earlier projection of a return to profit, as the electronics giant struggles with production disruptions from Japan’s tsunami.

The Japanese maker of PlayStation 3 video game machines and Bravia flat-panel TVs said Monday that the projection of a $3.2 billion ( in U.S. dollars) net loss for the fiscal year ended March 2011 was largely due to writing off $4.4 billion related to a tax credit booked in a previous quarter.

Sony announced the loss ahead of its official earnings announcement Thursday under Tokyo Stock Exchange guidelines. The company had earlier projected a $860 million profit.

STOCKS

IBM passes Microsoft’s market cap after 15 years

NEW YORK — IBM surged past old rival Microsoft Corp. in market value for the first time since April 1996, marking the latest twist in the fluctuating fortunes of two of the world’s most storied technology companies.

IBM ruled the computer industry for decades until it hired the tiny, unknown Microsoft to provide an operating system for its new range of personal computers in the early 1980s.

Bill Gates parlayed that breakthrough into industry dominance, proving his theory that software would be more valuable than hardware, so that by the end of 1999 Microsoft’s market value was three times that of IBM’s.

BELGIUM

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