Gas prices running out of steam
Average block cheese prices saw a 6-cent decrease last week to $2.09 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The previous week's average was $2.14.
Cheese prices closed at $2.13 on Monday, then dropped to $2.10 Tuesday and Wednesday and ended at $2.05 on Thursday and Friday.
Wheat prices were up a penny to $8.36 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. The previous week closed at $8.35.
Wheat closed at $8.05 Monday, $8.17 Tuesday, $8.37 Wednesday, $8.62 Thursday and $8.61 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Monday's nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.59, a 7-cent drop from last week's $3.66, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices are also down from $3.67 a month ago and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.75 at the pump
Mid-range unleaded is $3.72, down from $3.78 the previous week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.85, a 7-cent drop from last week's $3.91.
The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.90, 4-cent drop from $3.94 last week. Diesel prices were also $3.94 a month ago, but are significantly higher than this time last year when prices were $2.91.
Natural gas prices fell across the board this week, likely in response to cooling temperatures as well as weak economic news. The Henry Hub spot price fell 17 cents from $4.26 per million Btu (MMBtu) last Wednesday, Aug. 3, to $4.09 per Aug. 10.
Pizza company stocks
Pizza stocks are still recovering after the market was hit two weeks ago following Standard & Poor's unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt to AA status.
Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. are back up to $51.61 after tumbling to $49.65 last week, down from $52.82 the week before. The company hit its 52-week high a month ago when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $38.53 in July 2010.
Domino's also bounced back last week, finishing Friday at $26.19 well above the previous week's $24.70. It hit its 52-week high the prior week at $26.87. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded as low as $12.21 in July 2010.
Papa John's shares dipped again to $28.38 Friday from the previous week's $29.37. The company hit its 52-week high earlier this summer at $34.12. Papa John's traded at a 52-week low of $22.78 in July 2010.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, took a small hit last week, finishing at $30.53 Friday, down from $30.56. The 3-cent drop, however, comes after nearly a $7 drop from the prior week when it finished at $38.70. CEC hit its 52-week high two weeks ago at $41.32, and is now trading near its 52-week low of $30.44 in August 2010.
Pizza Inn jumped to $3.01 Friday, up from last week's $2.45. Its 52-week high was a month ago when it finished at $3.26. It traded as low as $1.86 in August 2010.
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