Stubborn gas prices set October record

Gas prices experienced another rare fall jump and are at their highest levels ever for early October, according to AAA.

Cheese prices are also on the upswing, averaging more than 25 cents higher than last month.


Average block cheese prices jumped again last week on the Chicago Mercantile Market, averaging $2.09 from $2.05 the previous week. Cheese prices were $1.84 three weeks ago.

Prices closed at $2.08 Monday and Tuesday, and $2.10 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


Wheat prices fell slightly to $9.27 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $9.38 the week prior. Wheat is nearly $2 higher than it was in the summer, when prices averaged $7.49.

Prices closed at $9.37 Monday, $9.24 Tuesday, $9.29 Wednesday, $9.26 Thursday and $9.19 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.81, a bump from $3.78 last week.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.82. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.39 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $4.00, from $3.93 last week, while today's premium is $4.14, from $4.07.

Diesel fuel prices today are $4.09, up a penny from $4.08 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4.11 a month ago, and up from $3.79 last year.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices posted increases across the board for the report week (Sept. 26 to Oct. 3). The Henry Hub closed at $3.21 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) Oct. 2, up 29 cents per MMBtu for the week. Other spot prices rose roughly between 20 and 40 cents per MMBtu.

On Sept. 27, the November 2012 New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) contract moved into the near-month position. It increased from $3.023 per MMBtu Sept. 26 to close at $3.395 per MMBtu Oct. 2. It traded above most spot prices for the duration of the week.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $66 even, down from $66.34 the week prior. The company hit its 52-week high in May at $74.44. Its 52-week low is $47.72 from a year ago.

Domino's closed last Friday at $37.78, from $37.70 last week. Two weeks ago, DPZ was trading at $34.69. The company's 52-week high was $42.21 in April. Shares remain higher over this time last year when the company traded at $26.95.

Papa John's closed last Friday at $52.70, down from $53.41 the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high at $56.41 after turning in a strong earnings report in early August. The company hit its 52-week low of $30.46 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $29.55, from $30.12 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $40.01 in March. Its 52-week low was $28.23 a year ago.

Pizza Inn closed Friday at $2.90, from $2.92 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $2.18 a year ago.

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