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Last week's extreme weather events that blanketed the country drove natural gas spot prices up at most locations during.
Meanwhile, on Wall Street, Chuck E. Cheese's parent company turned in a new 52-week high after rumors of a sale floated. In other news:
Cheese prices continued to increase last week, averaging $2.15, from $2.01 on the Chicago Mercantile. Cheese averaged $1.89 in early December.
Last week, prices closed at $2.05 Monday, $2.11 Tuesday, and $2.20 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Conversely, wheat prices continued to fall last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and are at their lowest level in years, averaging $6.27, from $6.30 the week prior. Wheat was more than $7.50 two months ago.
Prices closed at $6.30 Monday and Tuesday, $6.27 Wednesday, $6.29 Thursday and $6.20 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
To kick off the New Year, the nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.31, even from $3.31 the week prior. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.23.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.30 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.49, also even from $3.49 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.66, also even from $3.66 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.86, from $3.87 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.85 a month ago and $3.90 last year.
Natural gas spot prices increased at most locations during the report week in response to extremely high weather-driven demand. The Henry Hub spot price posted a slight overall from $4.33/million British thermal unit (MMBtu) Jan. 2 to $4.35/MMBtu Jan. 8, with an increase up to $4.54/MMBtu in the middle of the report week. Regional price variations were much more pronounced, with some Northeast prices rising to greater than $70/MMBtu in trading Jan. 6.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the February 2014 contract fell from $4.321/MMBtu Jan. 2 to $4.216/MMBtu Jan. 8.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $75.05, down slightly from $75.09 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in November, at $78.68. Its 52-week low was in early February 2013, at $59.68.
Domino's finished last week at $70.28, up from $68.94 the week prior. DPZ hit a new 52-week high last week at $71.36. Its 52-week low was $44.38 a year ago.
Papa John's shares finished last week at $46.14, up from $45.32 the week prior. PZZA hit a 52-week high of $46.90 two weeks ago. Its low of $24.94 was a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $49.56, up from $44.40 after rumors of a sale circulated. The company hit a new 52-week-high last week at $49.89. Its annual low was a year ago at $28.95.
Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $7.98, down slightly from $8.09 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.03 a year ago.
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