Cost of wheat drops 50 cents in two weeks

Cheese

Average block cheese prices inched up two cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.52, up slightly from $1.50 previous week.

Prices closed at $1.52 Monday through Thursday, and $1.53 Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices dropped 25 more cents last week, in addition to the 30-cent decrease the week before, averaging $7.79 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Wheat was at $8.04 the week prior.

Prices closed at $7.91 Monday, $7.84 Tuesday, $7.82 Wednesday, $7.67 Thursday and $7.74 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.81, down from $3.85 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. This is the third week-to-week drop in gas prices in months. Crude oil prices also have started to drop as tensions with Iran begin to ease a bit.

Prices are down more than a dime from a month ago when they were $3.92. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.93 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.96, a drop from $3.99 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $4.09, from $4.13.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $4.09, down from $4.11 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4.16 a month ago, and from $4.15 a year ago.

Natural gas

With temperatures are generally colder than last week they are still warmer-than-normal for this reporting period, natural gas prices remained under $2.00 per MMBtu for most of the week. The Henry Hub price climbed during the week's second half, closing at $1.99 per MMBtu yesterday (up 12 cents for the week).

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the May 2012 natural gas contract rose 11.7 cents per MMBtu for the week, closing at $2.06 per MMBtu April 24.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $73.32, down slightly from $73.93 the week before. The company hit its 52-week high last week at $74.44 after reporting a positive earnings report. Its 52-week low is $47.15 from a year ago.

Domino's closed last Friday at $37.14, up nearly $3 from $35.32 the previous week. DPZ's 52-week high was $42.21, achieved a month ago. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $17.75.

Papa John's closed last week at $40.17, up from $38.74 the previous Friday. PZZA hit its 52-week high in February at $40.82. 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 $38.74, another jump from $37.62 the week prior. CEC hit its 52-week low of $25.83 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $42.75 in July 2011.

Pizza Inn closed Friday at $3.22, down a bit from $4.14 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $2.06 a year ago.

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