The price of gas has gone - you guessed it - up overnight, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The five-county Philadelphia area is paying an average $2.55 a gallon, up 1 cent.

South Jersey's average was up 2 cents, to $2.37.

The national average also was up 2 cents, to $2.53.

Today, 26 states and Washington have an average price of $2.50 or more, the auto group says.

The least expensive state, on average, was South Carolina, at $2.33 a gallon.

The highest averages were in Hawaii ($2.83), Alaska ($2.77), and California ($2.78).

Diesel prices also moved higher: The Philly average today was up 3 cents, to $2.61; South Jersey's was up 2 cents, to $2.27. The national average was up 1 cent, to $2.39.

Meanwhile, oil prices slipped below $68 a barrel as traders took profits on recent gains, which were driven by speculation that a massive global fiscal stimulus could spark an economic recovery and inflation.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was down 64 cents to $67.94 a barrel by afternoon in European electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract rose $2.27 to settle at $68.58, the highest close since early November.

Investors have been buying commodities, traditionally seen as a hedge against inflation, on worries that this year's huge fiscal and monetary easing around the world could eventually send prices soaring.