• Cheese prices continue to inch higher

Cheese prices continue to inch higher

Wheat prices remained under $7.50 for the third week in a row, while cheese prices continued to inch higher.

Papa John's hit a new 52-week high after reporting a strong second quarter, buoyed by international momentum.


Average block cheese prices inched up another 2 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.79, up from $1.77 the week prior.

Cheese averaged $1.90 in the spring.

Cheese markets closed at $1.78 Monday and Tuesday, and $1.79 Wednesday through Friday.


What prices continued to fall last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.34, down from $7.38 the week prior.

Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012.

Last week, wheat closed at $7.33 Monday, $7.39 Tuesday, $7.36 Wednesday, $7.33 Thursday and $7.32 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.55, down from $3.61 last week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.58.

Last year at this time, consumers were also paying $3.69 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.72, down from $3.78 last week. Premium gas is $3.89, down from $3.94 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.87 today, down a penny from $3.88 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.84 a month ago and $3.91 a year ago.

Natural gas

With the persistence of seasonally mild weather, natural gas spot prices at most trading locations declined since last week (July 31 to Aug. 7). The Henry Hub spot price ended the reporting week at $3.32 per MMBtu Aug. 7, down 14 cents from $3.46 per MMBtu at the beginning of the report period.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the near-month (September 2013) contract fell 20 cents, from $3.446 per MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.247 per MMBtu Aug. 7.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $74.10, up from $73.90 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.

Domino's finished last week at $62.70, down slightly from $63.81 the week prior. DPZ hit its 52-week high two weeks ago at $64.70. Its 52-week low was $33.52 a year ago.

Papa John's finished Friday at $70.50, up from $67.38 the werk prior. The company hit a new 52-week high last week at $71.27, after reporting a strong second quarter. The company hit its 52-week low of $46.42 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $43.12, up from $42.02 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was two weeks ago at $45.66. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $6.78, down from $7.05 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.47 a year ago.

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