After a rough January, Wall Street rebounded big last week, as investors warmed up to new Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's promise to maintain the policies of her predecessor, according to CNN. Every pizza stock jumped last week in response to the trend.
Meanwhile, cheese prices finally showed some relief after climbing nonstop for months and reaching near all-time highs. Here's a glimpse at the market:
Cheese price averages finally let up a bit last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $2.10, from $2.32 the week prior.
Prices were $1.89 in early December.
Last week, prices closed at $2.13 on Monday, and $2.10 Tuesday through Friday.
After months of sliding to record lows, wheat prices have boomeranged back up, averaging $6.58 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange last week. The week prior, prices were $6.27, and two weeks ago they were $6.02.
Last week, prices closed at $6.51 Monday, $6.61 Tuesday, $6.54 Wednesday, $6.62 Thursday and $6.66 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.35, up 6 cents from $3.29 the week prior. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.29.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.71 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.54, up from $3.47 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.70, up from $3.64 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.96, up 3 cents from $3.93 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.85 a month ago, and $4.12 a year ago.
Natural gas spot prices decreased at most trading locations during the report week, even as winter weather slammed much of the country. Though it declined overall, the Henry Hub spot price remained somewhat elevated through the report week, beginning the week at $7.90/MMBtu Feb. 7 and ending the report week at $6.15/MMBtu Feb. 12.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the March 2014 futures price decreased from $5.030/MMBtu Feb. 7 to $4.822/MMBtu Feb. 12.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $73.82, up from $71.73 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in November, at $78.68. Its 52-week low was a year ago at $63.16.
Domino's finished last week at $71.80, up from $69.50 the week prior. DPZ hit a new 52-week high in January at $73.41. Its 52-week low was $44.45 a year ago.
Papa John's shares finished last week at $48.32, up from $47.36 the week prior. PZZA hit a new all-time high of $49.33 in January. Its low of $24.94 was a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, finalized its agreement last week to be acquired by Apollo, which will remove the company from the NYSE. The company closed out last week at $53.98, up slightly from $53.96 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week-high in January at $55.14. Its annual low was a year ago at $28.95.
Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $6.35, up from $6.26 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.03 a year ago.
Read more about food cost management.
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.