Crude oil, gas prices plummet


Average block cheese prices fell to $1.72 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, from $1.78 the previous week.

Cheese prices closed at $1.74 Monday, $1.72 Tuesday, $1.71 Wednesday, $1.72 Thursday and $1.72 Friday.


Wheat prices dropped more than 65 cents last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, closing at $8.38. The previous week's average was $9.04. Two weeks ago, wheat was as high as $9.57, but prices have responded to a bump in selling due to a tumultuous global market.

Wheat closed at $8.41 Monday, $8.42 Tuesday, $8.40 Wednesday, $8.20 Thursday and $8.51 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

A sharp decline in crude oil prices has sent gas prices down. Some markets are experiencing less than $3 a gallon for the first time in months.

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.49, 9 cents lower than $3.58 a week ago, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are also down from $3.60 a month ago, but remain up from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.70 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded dropped to $3.63 from $3.72 the previous week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.76, down from $3.89 last week.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.85, from $3.89 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from last month's $3.87 but up from this time last year when it cost $2.97.

Natural Gas

Natural gas spot prices declined at most market locations across the United States, as moderate temperatures led to declines in demand. Prices at the Henry Hub fell from $4.01 per MMBtu last Wednesday, Sept. 14, to $3.78 per MMBtu yesterday.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $51.66, down from $53.85 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high in August when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $43.85 in September 2010. The company just announced it has found two separate buyers for its Long John Silver's and A&W brands, a move that will allow a bigger focus on its core brands, including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC.

Domino's closed last Friday at $28.16, from $28.28 the week before. The company hit a new 52-week high earlier in the week, closing at $28.80. rated high strengths for Domino's in revenue growth, solid financial position, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $13.19 in September 2010.

Papa John's closed Friday at $29.98, up nearly 20 cents from $29.79 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high in May at $34.27 and traded at a 52-week low of $25.10 in September 2010.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $28.46, from $28.63 the previous Friday. CEC hit a new 52-week low of $27.42 earlier in the week. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.

Pizza Inn stocks ended at $3.08 Friday, down from $3.14 the previous week. Pizza Inn hit its 52-week high in July when it finished at $3.40. It traded as low as $1.79 in September 2010.

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Photo provided by jcarlosn.

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