Valley gas prices may have peaked, for now

FRESNO, Calif.

The increasing cost of gas is taking its toll on many drivers. "Every day they're raising it 10 cents. It's just ridiculous, I think it's out of control," said Mark Snyder of Madera Ranchos.

A line of cars waited to fill up at a Costco gas station in Northwest Fresno. At $4.17, the price for a gallon of regular is below the Fresno average of $4.30.

"I drove through here and I see the price here so I stopped and filled up," said Gustavo Molina of Firebaugh. Many drivers are shopping around for the cheapest fuel in town and have started to cut down on discretionary spending. "Now I give it a lot more thought before I plan a trip or do anything like that because I can't afford to go," said Snyder.

It's not just the rising prices at the pump that will hurt consumers. Experts say that prices of goods and other services will likely go up as a result. "All the goods and services are produced by corporations and a lot of these corporations are within the stock market. And if people are not buying their goods and services, that's going to have a direct impact on their future stock price," said Paul Sahota, an investment consultant.

Sahota says the stock market could run into trouble if gas prices continue to rise. Consumers will spend less money on other items, cutting into corporate profits. "The stock market is typically impacted negatively if gas prices are going up. Specific sectors of the stock market can actually increase, such as oil and gas," said Sahota.

In turn, consumers can see food costs rise as manufacturers adjust to the rising costs of gas. For now, the soaring fuel prices have some drivers thinking of turning to other forms of transportation. "I'm trying to see if I can buy me a bike or something, start pedaling because the way we're going with fuel prices, it's going to be hard later on," said Molina.

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