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Gas prices across the nation are on track to sink below $2 a gallon by the end of January for the first time since March 25, 2009.
Twenty-five states and more than 50% of U.S. gas stations averaged sub-$2 a gallon gas prices on Jan. 20 according to AAA.
The fuel-tracking firm said that day "the average price at the pump has dropped a record 117 consecutive days, for a total a savings of $1.29 per gallon during this stretch." And a report from price-trackers GasBuddy released Jan. 21 said "the current trend has the national average today at $2.05, which maintains the consistent rate of decline we've monitored for the past several months."
That's down $0.08 from the previous week's average of $2.13 a gallon, and down $0.40 from mid-December's $2.45 a gallon.
Certain parts of the country are much lower. Just look at these pics from Money Morning readers and how little they are paying for gas right now…
The current gas price per gallon is a whopping $1.24 less than the average this time last year, $3.29.
GasBuddy adds the average U.S. gas price could fall to $1.95 – or even lower – "over the next few weeks."
If it feels like forever since gas prices have been this low, that's because it's been a long six years…
Gas Prices Like It's 2009
Here's what was going on in the world the last time we saw gas prices under $2 a gallon:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a twelve-and-a-half year low of 6,440 on March 9. The index had lost 54% in 17 months. Then stocks had rallied 150%. The Dow hit 8,500 on May 6.
- U.S. President Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009.
- President Obama was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10, 2009.
- Rapper Kanye West stormed on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards, grabbed the trophy for "Best Female Video" out of Taylor Swift's hands, and told the crowd "Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time."
The Truth About Oil in 2015: Oil hovers below $50 a barrel, but there are two major reasons why it will rebound this year. These factors are why the most experienced oil industry veterans aren't worried about low oil…
- Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) filed for bankruptcy.
- Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) unveiled the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan at a press conference on March 26, 2009. The car became commercially available in 2012 and promptly sold out through mid-2013. Since its release, the Model S has won several awards, including 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year, 2013 World Green Car of the Year, and TIME Magazine Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012. The Tesla Model S is also Consumer Reports' top-scoring car of all time.
- On April 24, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a swine flu (H1N1) outbreak in the United States and Mexico. They upgraded the outbreak to "pandemic" status on June 11. By November, the pandemic began to taper off – but the virus has killed more than 18,000 people since its April 2009 appearance, according to the WHO.
- On Nov. 25, 2009, The National Inquirer leaked a story claiming pro golfer Tiger Woods had cheated on his wife with Rachel Uchitel. Two days later, Woods crashed his Escalade into a fire hydrant outside his home. On Dec. 9, Jaimee Grubbs – another Woods mistress – released a damning voicemail she'd received from the golfer in conjunction with US Weekly. A few hours later, Woods admitted to infidelity. By Dec. 11, seven women publicly claimed to have had an affair with the golfer. That same day, Woods announced an "indefinite leave" from the sport to repair his marriage.
- On the same subject, a grand jury investigated former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) to find out if he used campaign funds to cover up an extramarital affair. Spoiler alert: he did.
- Three months to the day after the national average for gas prices fell under $2, legendary pop icon Michael Jackson died (June 25, 2009) at the age of 50. Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, said he found Jackson not breathing in Jackson's home. It was later determined Jackson died of a prescription drug overdose. Conrad was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011. Jackson's death triggered 35 million posthumous album sales in 2009, making him the best-selling artist of the year.
- Can you remember life before your friends and coworkers tagged you on Facebook? The ability to @-tag friends in Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) posts and comments was first introduced Sept. 10, 2009.
Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) – still a privately held company at the time – started to gain momentum. It moved to third-highest ranked social networking site, up from number 22.
- Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the world's largest brokerage, merged with Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC). It was originally owned by Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol MER. But MER was acquired by BAC on Sept. 14, 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. The merger was completed in January 2009.
- In 2009, gold prices began at roughly $870 an ounce and rose to nearly $1,100 an ounce by the year's end.
- Super Bowl XLIII, held on Feb. 1, 2009, featured the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Arizona Cardinals. Pittsburgh took it 27-23.
Uninvited couple Tareq and Michaele Salahi waltzed into the White House State Dinner on Nov. 24, 2009. They had their picture taken with the president.
- "Slumdog Millionaire" won Best Picture at the 81st Academy Awards on Feb. 22, 2009. Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for his work in "The Dark Knight." Philip Seymour Hoffman – who passed away on Feb. 2, 2014 – was nominated for the same award that year.
- Scottish singer Susan Boyle of "Britain's Got Talent" fame released her album "I Dreamed a Dream" on Nov. 23, 2009. It was the biggest selling album in the world that year, with 8.3 million copies sold within five weeks of release.
Profit from Low Oil and Gas Prices: Oil prices are under $50 a barrel for the first time since 2009. In the near to medium term, they're likely to stay that way. That means investors will benefit at the pump this year. And with this opportunity, they can benefit in the market too…