U.S. drivers are now paying more to fill up their gas tanks than they ever have at this time of year.
The national average price of retail gasoline posted its biggest one-day increase in 23 months on Friday, rising four cents to $3.46 a gallon, according to AAA. The average price has risen 13 cents -- a 4 percent increase -- in the past week.
Gasoline prices have followed in part the climb in the stock and oil prices. Oil and equities have risen sharply over the last few weeks, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 14,000 for the first time since 2007, Brent crude oil futures hit at 4-month high near $117 a barrel, while the U.S. oil price is near $98 a barrel.
Retail gasoline prices have also hit a new milestone.
"This is the highest price record for February 1st," says OPIS analyst Tom Kloza, who predicts the national average price of regular gasoline will climb a few more pennies to $3.50 a gallon this weekend.
NYMEX March RBOB gasoline futures, which help determine prices at the pump, have risen 10 percent in the past two weeks, finishing the week at $3.05 a gallon on Friday.