- WHITE PAPERS
Average block cheese prices continued to drop last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging down from $1.58 the previous week to $1.56.
Cheese reached its 3-month high of $2 on Nov. 15, but continues to drop on slowing demand. This week's average is its lowest since early April.
Cheese prices closed at $1.56 Monday through Friday.
Wheat inched a bit higher last week, averaging $8.38 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Wheat was $8.33 the previous week, the crop's lowest price since mid-July.
Wheat closed at $8.27 Monday, $8.39 Tuesday, $8.41 Wednesday, $8.43 Thursday and $8.44 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
After dropping to its lowest level since February, gas prices increased a penny from last week. Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.23, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices are down from $3.30 a month ago, but remain up from this time last year when consumers were paying $3.04 at the pump.
Mid-range unleaded is $3.37, a bump from $3.35 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.51, up a penny from $3.50 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.82, compared to $3.85 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $3.96 a month ago, and up from $3.29 a year ago.
Natural gas prices at most trading locations across the country fell or remained stable during the report week. The spot price at the Henry Hub fell 3 cents, from $3.08 per MMBtu last Wednesday, Dec. 14, to $3.05 per MMBtu yesterday, December 21.
Pizza company stocks
Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $59.03, up from $57.70 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high early in the day last Friday, at $59.17. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.
Domino's closed last Friday at $33.87, an increase from $33.30 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 two weeks ago. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $15.78.
Papa John's closed last week at $37.88, from $36.71 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high earlier this month at $38.92. PZZA's 52-week low was last December when it traded at $25.83.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $35.42, a climb from the previous Friday when it closed at $33.93. CEC hit its 52-week low of $27.42 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.
Pizza Inn closed Friday at $5.45, from $5.57 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 earlier this month. PZZI traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.
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