Pizza companies rebounded slightly from last week's volatile market after JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion loss. Wheat prices jumped a bit, however gas prices continue to trend downward.
Average block cheese prices were skewed by Friday's close of $1.57, resulting in an average of $1.51 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, from $1.50 the week prior.
Cheese prices closed at $1.50 Monday through Thursday.
Wheat prices increased a bit last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.82, from $7.62 the previous week.
Wheat is still lower than it was in April, when it averaged above $8.
Prices last week closed at $7.96 Monday, $7.80 Tuesday, $7.75 Wednesday and Thursday, and $7.86 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.63, another drop from the previous week, when prices were $3.68, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices remain lower from a month ago when they were $3.81. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.79 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.80, down 5 cents from last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.94, also down from $3.99.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.93, from $3.99 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4.09 a month ago, and from $4.01 a year ago.
Natural gas prices, led by the futures market, advanced modestly in nearly all markets over the week. At the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the June 2012 natural gas contract ended the week up 11.9 cents per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to close at $2.737 per MMBtu on May 23.
The Henry Hub price followed the NYMEX lead, closing at $2.60 per MMBtu on May 23, up 10 cents per MMBtu for the week.
Pizza company stocks
Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $70.40, a jump from $67.87 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high earlier this month at $74.44 after turning in a positive earnings report. Its 52-week low is $47.15 from a year ago.
Domino's closed last Friday at $30.81, a slight increase from $30.11 the previous week. DPZ's 52-week high was $42.21 from April. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $22.84.
Papa John's closed last week at $47.02, up from $45.89 the week prior. PZZA hit its 52-week high earlier this month at $50.45 after a positive earnings report. The company hit its 52-week low of $26.95 a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $35.78, slightly up from $35.48 the week prior. CEC hit its 52-week low of $25.83 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $42.75 in July 2011.
Pizza Inn closed Friday at $2.47, a bit of a drop from $2.67 the week prior. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $7.07 in December and traded as low as $2.20 a year ago.
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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.