Gas prices rise after Iran cuts oil supply


Average block cheese prices were up a penny last week to $1.48 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, from $1.47 the previous week.

Prices closed at $1.47 Monday and $1.48 Tuesday through Friday.


Wheat prices dropped to $8.15 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.33 the previous week.

Wheat closed at $8.15 Monday, $8.12 Tuesday, $8.11 Wednesday, $8.17 Thursday and $8.22 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.56, a nickel higher than $3.51 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices a month ago were $3.38. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.16 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.70, from $3.64 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.83, from $3.77 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.95, from $3.92 last week. The price of diesel fuel is up from $3.86 a month ago, and from $3.56 a year ago.

Oil prices are at a nine-month high today after Iran cut supply to Europe in a dispute over its nuclear program. Last month, analysts predicted that gas prices could reach $4 a gallon by spring, citing production issues and ongoing tumult in foreign markets.

Natural gas

With the exception of the Northeast, which experienced significant price increases as a cold spell brought lower than normal temperatures into the region over the weekend, prices across the country in general remained fairly level over the week. The Henry Hub price closed at $2.54 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on Feb. 15, up 5 cents for the week.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the March 2012 natural gas contract also traded within a narrow range, finishing the week with a decline of 2.3 cents per MMBtu to close at $2.425 per MMBtu.

Natural gas continues to trade near a 10-year low because of abundance. 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 $65.25, up nearly 35 cents from $64.91 the previous week. The company hit a new 52-week high two weeks ago, 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 $32.97, up from $32.46 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $34.90 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 $40.37, a significant jump from its $38.68 closing the previous week. PZZA hit a new 52-week three 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 $38.17, an increase from $36.66 the prior week. CEC hit its 52-week low of $25.83 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $42.75 in July.

Pizza Inn closed Friday at $4.56, down from $4.87 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $1.91 a year ago.

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