Business Briefs: Gasoline price here rose about 5 cents

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Local gasoline price rises about 5 cents

The cost of gasoline in the Pittsburgh region went up about 5 cents this week, with the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded hitting $3.773. That's about 8 cents higher than the national average, according to GasBuddy.com.

Reader's Digest parent files again for Chapter 11

The parent company of Reader's Digest has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in less than four years, saying it needs to cut its debt so it can keep restructuring. RDA Holding Co. says it will keep publishing during the bankruptcy. It is aiming to be out of Chapter 11 within six months. RDA's Reader's Digest Association Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2009 in the midst of a recession and a drop in advertising and circulation. The company emerged from bankruptcy in early 2010.

Nike: No plans for Pistorius

Nike says it has no plans for Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius in future ad campaigns after the South African sports star was charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend. Nike Inc. spokesman KeJuan Wilkins confirmed the company's plans to The Associated Press on Monday. Mr. Pistorius is a double-amputee who races on carbon-fiber blades and competed in the London Olympics last year. A Nike Internet ad showing Mr. Pistorius starting to sprint in his blades with the caption: "I am the bullet in the chamber" has already been pulled.

Some Nestle products test positive for horse

Nestle SA, the world's largest food company, is withdrawing some beef ravioli and beef tortellini products after food tested positive for horse DNA. Nestle is removing the foods in Italy and Spain immediately and replacing them with 100 percent beef products, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Monday. Nestle is the latest food company in Europe to be engulfed by the horse meat scandal.

Surplus dampens natural gas futures

Hedge funds cut bullish bets on natural gas for the first time in six weeks as an inventory surplus expanded and the U.S. heating season neared an end. Money managers reduced net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices, by 5.4 percent in the week ended Feb. 12, according to the Feb. 15 Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Commitments of Traders report. "The fundamentals are just horrific for natural gas," John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by phone Feb. 15.

OfficeMax, Office Depot may join forces

OfficeMax Inc. and Office Depot Inc. are talking about combining their companies, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. The newspaper, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, said Monday that talks are at an advanced stage, and an announcement could come as early as this week. The companies declined to comment.

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