Gas prices up 12 cents in a month

Cheese

Average block cheese prices dropped to $1.47 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, from $1.49 the previous week.

Prices closed at $1.48 Monday and Tuesday, and $1.47 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices inched up to $8.33 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.31 the previous week.

Wheat closed at $8.41 Monday, $8.38 Tuesday, $8.41 Wednesday, $8.31 Thursday and $8.14 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.51, a 3-cent increase from $3.48 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices a month ago were $3.39. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.12 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.64, from $3.61 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.77, from $3.74 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.92, a jump from $3.88 last week. The price of diesel fuel is up from $3.87 a month ago, and from $3.52 a year ago.

Last month, analysts predicted that gas prices could reach $4 a gallon by spring, citing production issues and tumult in foreign markets.

Natural gas

A temporary return to more normal seasonal temperatures was likely the catalyst that caused natural gas prices to reverse their recent multi-week downtrend. The Henry Hub price closed at $2.49 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on Feb. 8, up 17 cents for the week.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the March 2012 natural gas contract rose 6.6 cents per MMBtu for the week to close at $2.448 per MMBtu.

Natural gas continues to trade near a 10-year low because of abundance, however. The recently released 2011 report shows a 9 percent drop in the Henry Hub natural gas spot prices from the prior year.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $64.91, up from $63.78 the previous week. The company hit a new 52-week high earlier in the week, at $65.79 after a strong earnings report. A year ago, the company was trading as low as $47.15.

Domino's closed last Friday at $32.46, down slightly from $32.93 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 in mid-December. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $15.80.

Papa John's closed last week at $38.68, a drop from $39.52 the previous week. PZZA hit a new 52-week two weeks ago at $40.57. The company hit its 52-week low a year ago when it traded at $26.95.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $36.66, up from $36.29 the prior week. 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 Friday at $4.87, down from $5.55 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 in early December and traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.

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