Gas prices up almost a dollar from last year


Average block cheese prices were up slightly last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coming in at an average of $1.62, from $1.57 the previous week.

Prices were $1.60 Monday and $1.62 Tuesday through Friday. Prices are hovering around last year's average of $1.63 per pound.


Wheat prices dropped to an average of $9.05 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, down from $9.54 the previous week.

Wheat closed at $9.35 Monday, $9.11 Tuesday, $9.04 Wednesday and $8.89 both Thursday and Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.83, another jump from $3.77 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices remain up from a month ago, when they were $3.54, and from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.86 at the pump.

Gas prices continue to inch closer to the all-time high of $4.11 set in the summer of 2008.

Mid-range unleaded currently averages $3.97, while premium unleaded Monday was $4.10.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $4.13, up from $4.07 per gallon last week. Diesel prices also remain up from $3.93 a month ago, and from $3.06 a year ago.

Conflict throughout the Middle East, including Libya, continues to affect the oil market.

Natural Gas

As the story of abundant natural gas supply continued to provide headlines for the market this report week (Wednesday to Wednesday, April 6-13), spot prices at most market locations in the lower 48 states decreased. Moderate temperatures also likely contributed to the price declines by limiting end-use demand and allowing for replenishment of storage supplies. During the report week, the Henry Hub spot price decreased by 3 cents per million Btu (MMBtu), or less than 1 percent, to $4.14 per MMBtu. Other market prices also decreased by up to 10 cents per MMBtu, with a few exceptions in the U.S. Northeast.

Pizza company stocks

Shares in Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed at $51.12 Friday, a boost from the previous week's closing of $49.58. The company hit its all-time 52-week high last month at $52.58. Yum! traded at a 52-week low of $38.53 in July 2010.

Domino's finished last week at $18.06, a penny increase from the previous week's closing of $18.05. Domino's hit its 52-week high, $18.47, two weeks ago and traded as low as $10.99 in June 2010.

Papa John's stock closed at $31.75 Friday, up almost a dollar from the previous week's closing of $30.78 and the company's 52-week high. The company traded at a 52-week low of $22.78 in July 2010. The company's stock dropped down to $30.83 today, following news of the resignation of president and co-CEO J. Jude Thompson on Friday.

Shares in CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed at $36.69 Friday, a penny less than the previous week's closing of $36.70. CEC traded at a 52-week high of $41.79 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $30.84 in August 2010.

California Pizza Kitchen closed at $16.06 Friday, up from $15.99 the previous week. CPKI traded as high as $22.92 in April 2010, and as low as $13.19 in July 2010.

Pizza Inn turned in at $2.10 Friday, a drop from $2.14 the previous Friday. PZZI traded at a 52-week high of $2.20 in April 2010, and a 52-week low of $1.77 in May 2010.

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