Gas prices stable heading into holiday shopping season

Public pizza companies continue to benefit from a bullish market heading into the final weeks of 2013, with Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands up nearly $10 in less than a month.

Meanwhile, wheat prices remained under $7 for a second week in a row, and prices at the pump are relatively stable heading into the busy shopping season. Here is a further breakdown:


Cheese jumped 4 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.86, from $1.82 the week prior.

Prices closed at $1.85 Monday, $1.86 Tuesday and $1.88 on Wednesday. The markets were closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Wheat prices continued to fall last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $6.92, down from $6.96 the week prior. Wheat was more than $7.50 a month and a half ago.

Prices closed at $7 Monday, $6.95 Tuesday, $6.90 Wednesday and $6.86 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.26, down slightly from $3.28 last week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were also $3.26.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.39 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.43, from $3.45 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.61, from $3.62 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.84, from $3.82 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.84 a month ago and $4.01 last year.

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices fell slightly over most of the country, with the exception of prices in the Northeast. The Henry Hub spot price declined from $3.68/MMBtu Nov. 13, to $3.62/MMBtu Nov. 20.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, however, the December 2013 contract rose from $3.566/MMBtu Nov. 13 to $3.674 Nov. 20.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $77.59, up big from $74.92 the week prior and $69.80 less than a month ago. The company hit a new 52-week high two weeks ago, at $78.68. Its 52-week low was in early February, at $59.68.

Domino's finished last week at $69.31, up slightly from $69.15 the week prior. DPZ hit a new 52-week high two weeks ago, at $70.10. Its 52-week low was $40.30 a year ago.

Papa John's shares rose to $85.41, from $85.34 the week prior. PZZA shares are nearly $10 higher than they were last month. The company hit a new 52-week high earlier last week at $86.77. Its 52-week low was 48.30 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $47.75, up from $46.53 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high earlier in the week at $48.30. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.

Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $8.52, down slightly from $8.69 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.03 a year ago.

Read more about supply chain news.

Photo courtesy of AAA NewsRoom.

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