NEW YORK — Supermarket stocks finished 2007 with slight gains over 2006 levels, despite falling sharply off mid-year highs in many cases. Kroger led the "big three" traditional operators with a gain of about 17%, to about $27, as of last week. Safeway and Supervalu both had gains in the low single digits, closing at about $35 and $38, respectively. Costco was among the top gainers for all retailers selling food, up about 32%, to $70, and wholesaler Nash Finch had similar gains, to about $36. A&P, which completed its acquisition of Pathmark and the sales of its stores in Michigan and Louisiana during the year, was up nearly 20%, to nearly $31. Winn-Dixie, Arden Group, Village Supermarkets and Ruddick Corp. also were up in double digits for the year. Decliners included Whole Foods Market, Target Corp., United Natural Foods.
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