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Seven things you may have missed Monday from the world of business

(Craig Ruttle)
Travel

Holiday gift: Gasoline at $2 a gallon

Just in time for Christmas travel, gasoline prices in Massachusetts have dropped to $2 a gallon, four cents less than a week ago. AAA Northeast said in its weekly survey Massachusetts prices ranged from a low of $1.85 to a high of $2.19. On the website GasBuddy.com, consumers reported prices of $1.82 a gallon at Costco in Dedham, Speedway in Brockton, and Best in Peabody. A combination of falling crude oil prices and plentiful supplies is dropping national prices to the lowest point since March 2009. The national average price for a gallon of gas on Monday was $1.99 and more than two-thirds of the country's gas stations are selling gas below $2 a gallon, AAA reported. The auto club estimates that cheaper gas prices have saved Americans more than $115 billion on gasoline so far this year, or more than $550 for each driver. — DEIRDRE FERNANDES

Biotechnology

Shkreli gets tossed from KaloBios

KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, a California biotechnology company, said Monday it had fired embattled executive Martin Shkreli (right, in hood) as chief executive, a few days after he gained control of the company in November. KaloBios, which had been in severe financial straits before Shkreli's involvement, did not name a replacement. Last week, Shkreli was removed as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which he cofounded late last year. The charges against Shkreli predate his management of either Turing or KaloBios. He is accused of using money from his first pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, to pay off money-losing investors in his hedge funds, whom he is also accused of misleading. Shkreli, 32, who is free on $5 million bail, maintains that he is not guilty and will be vindicated. Since his release, he has been live streaming on YouTube, playing online chess and guitar. KaloBios, a publicly traded company, had announced last month that it was planning to go out of business. Some of its experimental drugs had not worked in clinical trials, and it was running out of cash and options. — NEW YORK TIMES

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Transportation

Lyft looks to investors for $1 billion

Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. plans to raise as much as $1 billion in new funds, according to a Delaware state filing, in a round of financing analysts said could sharply boost the valuation of Uber Technologies Inc.'s largest US rival. Lyft didn't indicate in the Friday evening filing how much had been raised or who was investing in the round and did not list a valuation. Sven Weber, a financial filings expert, pegged the pre-money valuation at about $4.5 billion while Justin Byers at VC Experts estimates it closer to $3.9 billion. Lyft was valued at $2.5 billion when it announced a previous funding round in March. The latest fund-raising round contained some downside protection for new investors, including the provision of extra shares should Lyft go public at a lower valuation. "This is a very modest ratchet function," said Weber, president of the SharesPost 100 Fund. "It's not outrageous." — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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Manufacturing

BMW fined $40 million for slow response on Mini

DETROIT — US safety regulators have slapped German automaker BMW AG with a $40 million penalty for moving too slowly to fix Mini brand cars that failed federal crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said Monday BMW failed to send the agency accurate recall information. According to a consent order signed by the company, BMW must pay $10 million in cash and spend $10 million on steps to get into compliance. Another $20 million in fines must be paid if BMW doesn't comply or commits other safety violations. BMW agreed to take steps to make sure that the violations don't happen again, the agency said in a statement. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Shipping

Post Office raises estimate of holiday package volume

This season's increase in online shopping is benefiting the US Postal Service. The beleaguered agency is now projecting about a 15 percent increase in the number of packages, cards, and letters delivered over last year's volume between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, said Postal Service consumer advocate John Budzynski. Initial estimates were for a 10.5 percent volume increase over last year, or about 600 million items to be delivered during the holiday season. Monday was expected to be the busiest delivery day of the holiday season. The Postal Service originally anticipated more than 4 million items would be delivered in the Greater Boston district on Monday alone. Monday was also the last day to send items using the "priority mail" service and guarantee Friday delivery. But if the gifts aren't yet purchased, Wednesday is the absolute deadline to ensure the presents arrive by Christmas: "priority mail express" guarantees overnight delivery to most locations, the Postal Service said. About 500 Postal Service carriers were hired in the Boston area, part of a seasonal nationwide increase of 30,000. — JESSICA GELLER

Investing

JPMorgan settles ‘London Whale’ claims

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $150 million to settle investor claims that it hid from them as much as $6.2 billion in losses caused by a trader dubbed the London Whale. A group of pension funds accused JPMorgan of turning its chief investment office in London into a "secret hedge fund" that caused the losses. The bank told investors that the office's primary role was managing risk when in fact it was engaging in trades to generate profit, they said. Ohio pension funds and other plaintiffs in the case say they incurred tens of millions of dollars of losses because their fund managers were given "false and misleading information." Bruno Iksil, who amassed positions in credit derivatives so big and market-moving he became known as the London Whale, made the trades for the bank. Joe Evangelisti, a JPMorgan spokesman, declined to comment on the accord. The settlement was described in court papers in New York. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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Energy

Grid operators improve coordination between New York and New England

HOLYOKE — Power grid operators in New York and New England have launched a system to streamline the exchange of electric energy over transmission lines and improve the flow of power between the two markets. The New York Independent System Operator and ISO New England introduced last week the Coordinated Transaction Scheduling system. The two grid operators say the system will make more efficient use of transmission lines by allowing utilities, generators, and others in the wholesale energy market to get access to the lowest-cost source of power. Improvements include increasing the frequency of scheduling energy sales and purchases over the transmission network between regions, software changes to allow the two grid operators to better coordinate selection of the most economic transactions, and eliminating fees that impede efficient trading between New York and New England. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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