Pizza stocks tumble with the rest of the market


Average block cheese prices dropped a penny to $2.14 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The previous week's average was $2.15.

Cheese prices were steady at $2.15 Monday through Wednesday before dropping to $2.13 Thursday and Friday.


Wheat prices fell slightly to $8.35 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, a 4-cent drop from last week's $8.39.

Wheat closed at $8.34 Monday, $8.49 Tuesday, $8.44 Wednesday, $8.23 Thursday and $8.27 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Monday's nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.66, a 4-cent drop from last week's $3.70, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices remain up from $3.61 a month ago and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.77 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.78, down from $3.82 the previous week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.91, a 4-cent drop from last week's $3.95.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.94, a 2-cent drop from $3.96 last week. Diesel prices are up slightly from $3.90 a month ago, and are significantly higher than this time last year when prices were $2.98.

Natural Gas

Nearly all pricing points were down modestly for the week following passage of the heat wave that had earlier gripped most of the country. The Henry Hub price decreased 20 cents per million Btu (MMBtu) over the week (down 4.5 percent) to close at $4.26 per MMBtu on August 3.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza stocks were certainly not immune to Standard & Poor's unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt to AA status following the debt ceiling debate in Congress last week.

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. tumbled to $49.65 last week, down from $52.82 the week before, and $54.37 two weeks ago. The company hit its 52-week high a month ago when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $38.53 in July 2010.

Domino's also dropped last week, finishing Friday at $24.70 from its 52-week high the week prior of $26.87. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded as low as $12.21 in July 2010.

Papa John's shares dipped to $29.37 Friday from $31.21 the week prior. The company hit its 52-week high earlier this summer at $34.12. Papa John's traded at a 52-week low of $22.78 in July 2010.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, took a huge hit last week, finishing at $30.56 Friday, down from $38.70 the previous week. CEC hit its 52-week high two weeks ago at $41.32 last week, and is now trading near its 52-week low of $30.44 in August 2010.

Pizza Inn finished at $2.45 Friday, down from $2.88 the previous week. Its 52-week high was a month ago when it finished at $3.26. It traded as low as $1.86 in August 2010.

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