- WHITE PAPERS
While cheese prices continued to inch up last week, gas prices fell 6 cents in the reporting period.
On Wall Street, Yum! Brands' stock took a hit after reports of another bird flu breakout in China hit the news last week.
Cheese prices continued to rise last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.85, up from $1.83 the week prior and $1.77 two weeks ago.
Prices closed at $1.85 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, $1.86 Thursday and $1.87 on Friday.
Wheat remained somewhat steady last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.52, from $7.50 the week prior.
Wheat is up about 50 cents since the end of September.
Last week, wheat closed at $7.51 Monday, $7.56 Tuesday, $7.58 Wednesday, $7.52 Thursday and $7.45 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.28, down 6 cents from $3.34 last week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.41.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.54 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.46, down from $3.53 last week. Premium gas is $3.64, from $3.70 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.85, down slightly from $3.87 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.90 a month ago and $4.06 last year.
Natural gas prices decreased across much of the United States over the report week (Oct. 16-23), with the exception of the upper-Midwest and Northeast. The Henry Hub spot price closed Oct. 23 at $3.66 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), down 19 cents per MMBtu from $3.85 per MMBtu at the beginning of the report week.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the November 2013 contract decreased by 4 percent for the report week. The prompt month contract settled at $3.619 Oct. 23.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $66 even, down from $67.30 after another bird flu breakout was reported in China. The first incident occurred at the beginning of this year and affected consumer sentiment regarding the country's poultry supply, which in turn affected business at the company's flagship KFC brand. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 in August.
Domino's finished last week at $67.39, up from $66.63 the week prior. DPZ hit a 52-week high in early October, at $69.92. Its 52-week low was $38.98 a year ago.
Papa John's finished Friday at $75.64, up big from $71.27 the week prior after researchers upgraded the stock to "buy." The company hit a new 52-week high earlier in the week at $76.36. 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 $46.57, down slightly from $46.74 the week prior. The company hit a fresh 52-week high earlier in the week at $47.78. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $8.69, up from $8 even the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.53 a year ago.
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