Natural gas prices fell 5 to 9 percent across the country last week, while prices at the pump also fell and are 20 cents lower than a month ago.
Public companies fared well on Wall Street, with three brands hitting fresh 52-week highs. This momentum has not continued through today, however. Stocks have fallen sharply as a potential government shutdown looms.
Cheese prices dropped 3 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.76, from $1.79 the week prior.
Cheese markets closed at $1.78 Monday and Tuesday, $1.77 Wednesday, and $1.75 Thursday and Friday.
After weeks on a downward spiral, wheat prices inched back up last week, averaging $7.15, from $7.01 a week prior.
A year ago, wheat was averaging above $9.
Last week, wheat closed at $6.98 Monday, $7.05 Tuesday, $7.18 Wednesday, $7.24 Thursday and $7.31 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.39, down from $3.47 the week prior. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.59.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.78 at the pump.
Monday's mid-range unleaded was $3.58, from $3.66 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.75, from $3.82.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.90, from $3.92 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.92 a month ago and $4.08 a year ago.
Natural gas prices at virtually all trading locations fell by between 5 and 9 percent during the report week (Sept. 18 – Sept. 25). The Henry Hub spot price decreased 19 cents from $3.71 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) Sept. 18 to $3.52 per MMBtu Sept. 25.
The price of the near-month (October 2013) contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) also fell during the week. The October contract decreased from $3.713 per MMBtu Sept. 18 to $3.493 Sept. 25.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $72.37, down slightly from $72.73 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 $67.65, up 3 cents from $67.62 the week prior. DPZ hit another new 52-week high earlier in the week, at $67.80. Its 52-week low was $34.50 a year ago.
Papa John's finished Friday at $70.73, down a bit from $71.03. The company also hit a new 52-week high last week at $72.39. 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 $45.40, up from $43.33 the week prior. The company hit a fresh 52-week high last week at $45.92. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.28, down slightly from $7.35 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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Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.