Gas prices jumped again last week and are 20 cents higher than they were just two weeks ago. According to ABC News, some experts predict the cost of gas to continue rising through August and potentially reaching a 5-year high, mostly because of tensions in Egypt, which controls a big portion of the world's crude oil.
Average block cheese prices rose 2 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.69, from $$1.67 the week prior.
Cheese averaged $1.90 in the spring. It remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.
Cheese markets closed at $1.67 Monday and Tuesday, $1.69 Wednesday, $1.70 Thursday and $1.74 on Friday.
What prices dropped down to an average of $7.53 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, compared to $7.92 last week. This average marks wheat's lowest price yet this year. Two weeks ago, wheat was $7.64.
Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012.
Last week, wheat closed at $7.55 Monday, $7.59 Tuesday, $7.55 Wednesday and $7.50 Thursday and Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.67, up 20 cents from two weeks ago. Last week, consumers were paying $3.61 at the pump, according to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices a month ago were $3.58.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.46 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.83, from $3.78 last week and $3.65 two weeks ago.
Premium gas is $3.99, from $3.94 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are also up, averaging $3.87 today, from $3.84 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.85 a month ago and $3.73 a year ago.
The Henry Hub spot price was relatively flat during the report week, settling at $3.67 per MMBtu July 17. Northeastern natural gas spot prices increased over the report week because of hot weather, while several other price points throughout the country decreased slightly.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the front month (August 2013) contract price fell by a nickel to $3.629 per MMBtu July 17.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $72.08, up from $70.64 the week prior, when the company announced its quarterly earnings. 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 hit yet another 52-week high last week, hitting $64.15 before closing out Friday at $63.58. The company closed at $64.07 the week prior. DPZ's 52-week low was $31.76 a year ago.
Papa John's finished Friday at $69.26 after hitting another 52-week high during the week at $69.83. The Friday prior, PZZA closed at $69.73. The company hit its 52-week low of $46.42 a year ago.
Last week was also a boon for CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, which reached a new 52-week high of $45.66 before closing Friday at $45 even. Its 52-week low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $6.45, up from $5.76 the week prior. The company traded as low as $2.20 a year ago.
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
Alicia Kelso has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.