Gas prices hit 10-month low

Cheese

Average block cheese prices continued to drop last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.68 from $1.77 the previous week.

Cheese reached its 3-month high of $2 on Nov. 15, but continues to drop on slowing demand.

Cheese prices closed at $1.73 Monday, $1.68 Tuesday and Wednesday, $1.67 Thursday and $1.65 Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices inched up to $8.47 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, an increase from $8.43 the previous week. A month ago, wheat was as high as $9.26; however prices have dropped as harvests have expanded.

Wheat closed at $8.48 Monday, $8.54 Tuesday, $8.46 Wednesday, $8.44 Thursday and $8.43 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Gas prices continue to be at their lowest level since February. Prices continue to slide despite an increase in crude oil costs, mostly due to a decrease in profit margins in the oil industry.

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.27, steady from last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices are down from $3.43 a month ago, but remain up from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.97 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded is $3.42, also even from $3.42 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.55, matching last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.90, compared to $3.93 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $3.94 a month ago, and up from $3.24 a year ago.

Natural gas

Despite forecasts for substantially colder temperatures near the end of the report week across most parts of the country, natural gas price changes at the end of the report week were still somewhat mixed. The Henry Hub price rose only 2 cents on the last day of the report week, from $3.43 per MMBtu last Tuesday to $3.45 per MMBtu last Wednesday.

Pizza company stocks

The stock market reacted favorably to a Euro deal that would provide the European region with a safety net amid debt concerns.

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $57.96, up from $56.25 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high earlier in the week at $58.11, after increasing its fiscal year guidance. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino's closed last Friday at $34.70, up from $33.56 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 earlier in the day. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $14.72.

Papa John's closed last week at $37.83, up from $37.25 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high last week at $38.92. PZZA's 52-week low was last December when it traded at $25.83.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $33.67, up from $33.17 the previous Friday. 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 closed at $6.37, an increase from $6.28 last Friday. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 last week. PZZI traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.

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