Pizza companies benefit from stock market peak

Cheese prices jumped again and are up 20 cents from the beginning of April. Wheat prices also climbed nearly a quarter in a week and are up about 60 cents in the past month.

Public pizza companies had a great week, with many riding positive earnings reports on top of the Dow's highest close in history.

Cheese

Average block cheese prices continued to climb on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.89 last week, from $1.86 the week prior.

Cheese is up 20 cents from the beginning of April; however it remains lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.

Cheese markets closed at $1.86 Monday, $1.88 Tuesday, $1.90 Wednesday and Thursday and $1.91 on Friday.

Wheat

Wheat prices jumped nearly a quarter last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $8.40, from $8.16 the week prior. Wheat averaged $7.81 in early April.

Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012. Prices during the mid-summer 2012 averaged $7.49, before the drought kicked in.

Last week, wheat closed at $8.31 Monday, $8.37 Tuesday, $8.30 Wednesday, $8.44 Thursday and $8.58 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

After months on the decline, today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.52, up 2 cents from $3.50 last week.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.61. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.78 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.69, from $3.67 last week. Premium gas is $3.85, from $3.83 last week.

Diesel fuel prices averaged $3.87, a slight drop from $3.88 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4 last month and from $4.08 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices rose following declines earlier in the report week (April 24-May 1), except at Algonquin Citygate. The Henry Hub closed at $4.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) May 1, up 5 cents and 1.2 percent for the week, after declining to $4.16 per MMBtu on April 26.

At the NYMEX, the May 2013 contract also declined through April 26, to $4.152 per MMBtu. It then traded up 5.8 percent to $4.392 per MMBtu on April 29, its final day of trading. The near-month (June) NYMEX contract finished trading yesterday at $4.326 per MMBtu, 3 cents above the Henry Hub spot price.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $68.08, up from $67.20 the week prior. Yum's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.

Domino's climbed to $55.49 on Friday, up from $51.92 the week prior after a strong Q1 earnings report. Domino's hit a fresh 52-week high on Tuesday at $56.45. Its low was in June at $28.17.

Papa John's closed last week at $64.34, up from $62.16 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high earlier in the day at $65.86. The company hit its 52-week low of $45.19 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $32.94, up slightly from $32.77 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week high of $38.83 earlier in the day on Friday after a positive earnings report. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.37, up from $7.14 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high on Monday, $8.23, after announcing the opening of its first franchised Pie Five unit. The company traded as low as $2.18 in June.

Read more supply chain and commodities news.

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