After month-long decline, gas prices back on the rise

Oct. 16, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso


Average block cheese prices dropped 3 cents to $1.70 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, down from $1.73 the previous week.

Cheese prices closed at $1.76 Monday, $1.70 Tuesday, $1.68 Wednesday, $1.68 Thursday and $1.69 Friday.


Wheat prices jumped past the $9 mark last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.87 the previous week. Prices remain lower than a month ago, however, and are expected to stay lower after a USDA report released last week predicted bigger surpluses.

Wheat closed at $9.34 Monday, $9.36 Tuesday, $9.03 Wednesday, $8.83 Thursday and $8.92 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

After about a month of declining gas prices, today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is back up to $3.46, an increase from $3.39 a week ago, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices remain down, however, from $3.60 a month ago, but are up significantly from this time last year, when consumers were paying $2.83 at the pump.

Mid-range unleaded was up to $$3.60 from $3.54 the previous week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.73, up from $3.67 last week.

The nationwide average for diesel fuel is $3.81, compared to $3.79 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from last month's $3.89, and up from this time last year when it cost $3.09.

Natural Gas

Natural gas prices posted net losses at most market locations across the lower 48 States. The Henry Hub spot price fell from $3.63 per million Btu (MMBtu) last Wednesday, Oct. 5, to $3.54 per MMBtu Oct. 12. Despite overall decreases, intraweek trading showed some rallies, particularly near the end of the report week.

Pizza company stocks

After a couple of weeks of uncertainty, the stock market rebounded last week upon approval word of a European bailout and a huge earnings report from Google.

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $52.14, up nearly $2 from $49.24 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high in August when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino's closed last Friday at $28.32, also up nearly $2 from the previous week, when it closed at $26.63. The company hit a new 52-week high in late September at $28.80. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $13.09 in October 2010.

Papa John's closed Friday up to $32.53, from $30.29 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high in May at $34.27 and traded as low as $25.49 in October 2010.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $31.00, a jump from $28.79 the previous Friday. CEC hit a new 52-week low of $27.42 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.

Pizza Inn stocks ended at $3.50 Friday, an increase from $3.26 the previous week and the company's 52-week high. It traded as low as $1.83 in October 2010.

Read more about equipment and supplies.

Topics: Cheese , Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , Operations Management , Papa John's , Pizza Hut , Pizza Inn

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine.
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