Natural gas prices spike 27 cents

Natural gas prices jumped more than a quarter over the past week, while wheat prices remained solidly above $8 for the second week in a row. Cheese prices are steady, and fuel prices continued to drop.


Average block cheese prices rose to $1.65 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, from $1.61 the week prior.

Cheese prices closed at $1.64 Monday, and $1.65 Tuesday through Friday.


Wheat prices jumped again last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $8.61, up from $8.29 the week prior. Wheat was $7.49 in early June.

Wheat closed at $8.80 Monday, $8.53 Tuesday, $8.44 Wednesday, $8.67 Thursday and $8.64 Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.32, a 9-cent drop from $3.41 the previous week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices a month ago were nearly 30 cents higher at $3.59. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.56 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.48, down from $3.57 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.62, from $3.70.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.65, down from $3.70 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $3.90 a month ago, and from $3.89 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices generally registered overall increases for the report week (June 20-27) at many of the country's trading locations. The Henry Hub price, which dropped 12 cents per million British thermal units (MMBtu) on June 21, rose sharply June 25 and again June 26 to close at $2.87 per MMBtu (up 27 cents for the week).

Pizza company stocks

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $63.89, down from $65.01 the week prior. 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 $30.44, a jump from $28.75 a week ago. DPZ's 52-week high was $42.21 in April. Shares remain higher over this time last year when the company traded at $22.84.

Papa John's closed last week at $46.19, up slightly from $45.99 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 $35.70, up from $34.10 the week prior. The company hit its 52-week high of $42.75 in July 2011. Its 52-week low was $25.83 in September.

Pizza Inn closed Friday at $2.59, a drop from $3.06 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $2.18 a year ago.

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