Wheat surplus yields lower prices

Global production of wheat is on the rise, causing lower prices across the board. Cheese prices are stable, while gas prices continue to fall.


Average block cheese prices dropped a penny last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.60 from $1.61 the week prior.

Cheese prices closed at $1.59 Monday, $1.58 Tuesday, $1.60 Wednesday, $1.65 Thursday and $1.61 Friday.


Wheat prices fell to $7.49 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $7.56 the week prior.

Wheat closed at $7.42 Monday, $7.28 Tuesday, $7.44 Wednesday, $7.66 Thursday and $7.69 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.54, another drop from the previous week, when prices were $3.58, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices a month ago were nearly 20 cents higher, at $3.73. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.71 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.70, down 5 cents from last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.84, down from $3.89 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.82, a 7-cent drop from $3.89 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4.04 a month ago, and from $3.98 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices generally registered minimal overall changes for the report week (May 30 to June 6) at many of the country's trading locations. The Henry Hub price, which had dropped 15 cents by Friday, registered three consecutive daily increases to close at $2.41 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) June 5 (up 2 cents for the week).

The natural gas futures market trended slightly higher over the week. At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the July 2012 natural gas contract gained 0.3 cents per MMBtu to close at $2.421 per MMBtu June 5.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $64.59, down from $64.70 the week prior, and from $70.40 two weeks ago. The company hit its 52-week high in May at $74.44 after turning in a positive earnings report. Its 52-week low is $47.15 from a year ago.

Domino's closed last Friday at $29.94, up from $28.90 a week ago. DPZ's 52-week high was $42.21 from April. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $22.84.

Papa John's closed last week at $47.64, an increase from $46 even the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high in May at $50.45 after a positive earnings report. The company hit its 52-week low of $26.95 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $34.81, a jump from $34.01 the week prior. The company hit its 52-week high of $42.75 in July 2011.

Pizza Inn closed Friday at $2.25, down from $2.32 the previous week after the announcement that CEO Charlie Morrison is resigning from the company. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $2.21 a year ago.

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