Cheese prices jump 11 cents

Cheese

Average block cheese prices jumped more than a dime to $1.83 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The previous week’s average was $1.72.

Cheese prices closed at $1.78 Monday, $1.79 Tuesday, $1.83 Wednesday and $1.88 on both Thursday and Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices dropped last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $9.12, down from $9.17 the previous week.

Prices remain down from a month ago and are expected to stay lower after a recent USDA report released predicted bigger surpluses.

Wheat closed at $9.08 Monday, $9.05 Tuesday, $9.10 Wednesday, $9.17 Thursday and $9.23 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.40, down from $3.44 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are steady from $3.39 a month ago, but are significantly up from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.84 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.55, from $3.58 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.68, from $3.71 last week.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is up to $3.90, from $3.88 last week. The price of diesel fuel is also up from last month's $3.79, and from this time last year when it cost $3.11.

Natural gas

The previous report week's increasing prices gave way to relatively consistent declines across a large part of the country over this report week. The Henry Hub spot price showed a slight increase over the weekend, but closed down 26 cents for the week to $3.39 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on Nov. 2.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $53.98, down a bit from $54.14 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high in August when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino's closed last Friday at $32.01, down slightly from $32.15 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high in mid-October, at $32.25. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $13.98 in November 2010.

Papa John's closed last week at its new 52-week high of $35.54, from $34.17 the previous week. The company’s shares surged following a strong earnings report. PZZA's 52-week low was last November, at $25.00.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $34.04, up from $33.32 the previous Friday despite a mixed earnings report. CEC hit its 52-week low of $27.42 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.

Pizza Inn finished at $4.73 last week, up from $4.55 the previous week after news of the company’s expanded credit facility. PZZI hit its new 52-week high in mid-October at $4.90. This number came shortly after the company announced its expansion plans into the hot China market. PZZI traded as low as $1.88 in November 2010.

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