The stock market was on a roller coaster after the Federal Reserve announced last week it will maintain stimulus measures despite some opposition.
Still, stock indexes ended higher, providing a boon to some public pizza companies. Domino's and Papa John's both experienced fresh 52-week highs last week.
Meanwhile, gas prices fell slightly last week, with some analysts predicting fuel to fall nearly 40 cents by Halloween because of a light hurricane season, among other factors.
After weeks on the rise, cheese prices finally tempered a bit last week on the Chicago Mercantile, with the average dropping 4 cents to $1.79 from $1.83 the week prior. Cheese is up about 15 cents from a month ago.
Cheese markets closed at $1.82 Monday, and $1.79 Tuesday through Friday.
Wheat prices continued to fall last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.01, down a penny from $7.02 the week prior.
A year ago, wheat was averaging above $9.
Last week, wheat closed at $7.01 Monday, $6.99 Tuesday, $7 Wednesday, $7.08 Thursday and $6.99 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.47, down 4 cents from $3.51 the week prior. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.54.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.81 at the pump.
Monday's mid-range unleaded was $3.66, from $3.70 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.82, from $3.86.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.92, from $3.94 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.88 a month ago and $4.10 a year ago.
Natural gas prices at trading locations outside of the Northeast rose moderately this report week (Sept. 11 – Sept. 18). The Henry Hub spot price rose 11 cents from $3.60 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) Sept. 11 to $3.71 per MMBtu Sept. 18.
The price of the near-month (October 2013) contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) also increased substantially during the week. The October contract rose from $3.567 per MMBtu Sept.11 to $3.713 Sept. 18.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $72.73, up slightly from $72.39 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 last month.
Domino's finished last week at $67.62, a jump from $65.25 the week prior. DPZ hit another new 52-week high earlier in the week, at $67.71. Its 52-week low was $34.50 a year ago.
Papa John's finished Friday at $71.03, up from $68.82 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high last week at $72.14. The company hit its 52-week low of $46.42 a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $43.33, up from $41.90 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was in July at $45.66. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.35, down slightly from $7.38 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.47 a year ago.
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