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Gas prices in some areas slip below $1 a gallon

Gasoline prices again have dropped below $1 a gallon in some parts of the United States, the lowest levels since May, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Prices for self-service ''regular'' gas fell to 99.9 cents a gallon at some stations, especially in the Los Angeles area, as major oil company refiners shaved prices and offered dealers special discounts as an incentive to sell more gasoline.

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But dealers' profit margins increased to 10.08 cents a gallon (up from 9.85 cents in November), indicating stiff competition among refiners while gas stations keep an increasing portion of the price for themselves.