Money Minute: Why Your Car Is a Money Pit; Walmart Grows a Green Thumb


Your car may be costing you a lot more than you think.

AAA says the average driver driving the average midsize car -- for example, a Toyota Camry going 15,000 miles a year -- will cost nearly $10,500 a year to operate. That includes gasoline, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and some other items. A small car would cost about $2,000 less, but an SUV could cost $2,500 more. These are shocking numbers that could punch a SUV-sized hole in your budget.

Walmart Stores (WMT) wants to become your gardener. The retailer is making a direct challenge to home improvement giants Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) by offering what it calls "Black Friday-like prices" on outdoor and garden items such as mulch, lawn mowers and outdoor furniture. The nine-day sale begins Friday, the first full day of spring, with discounts of 30 to 50 percent off regular prices.

Burger King (BKW) is going mobile -- and we're not talking about the drive-through. The company is about to unveil a new app that allows customers to get discounts and make payments via their smartphones. Eventually, you'll be able to pre-order your Whopper, too.

Starbucks (SBUX) already offers those mobile features, and now it's adding a new drink to the menu.
At the end of April it will offer Oprah Chai, a tea-blend created by Oprah Winfrey. It will be available at both Starbucks and Teavana stores. Separately, Starbucks said it won't raise coffee prices, despite the surge in wholesale coffee prices.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 114 points Wednesday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 25 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 11 points.

The FAA has put its stamp of approval on the safety of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Government and company experts have completed a review following a pair of fires involving the plane's lithium-ion batteries. It concludes that the Dreamliner is "fundamentally sound" and comparable in safety to other new Boeing (BA) models, despite some problems with the manufacturing process.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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