Block cheese prices down slightly
Average block cheese prices dropped to $1.50 last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Cheese averaged $1.55 last week.
Prices closed at $1.50 Monday through Thursday, and $1.51 Friday.
Wheat prices slightly increased last week, averaging $8.14 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.01 the previous week.
A recent report showed more winter wheat acres have been planted domestically as drought conditions eased, causing lower prices than a few months ago.
Wheat closed at $8.03 Monday and Tuesday, $8.12 Wednesday, $8.27 Thursday and $8.26 Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.43, up from $3.38 last week, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Prices a month ago were $3.27. Meanwhile, last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.10 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.56, up slightly from $3.51 last week, while today's premium unleaded price is $3.70, from $3.65 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.87, about the same from $3.86 last week. The price of diesel fuel is up from $3.82 a month ago, and from $3.43 a year ago.
Earlier this month, analysts predicted that gas prices could reach $4 a gallon by spring, citing production issues and global worries.
Spot prices at most market locations fell early during the report week (Jan. 18 to Jan. 25), only to reverse the trend on Monday and end the report week up. The Henry Hub spot price increased 12 cents over the week, from $2.49 per MMBtu Jan. 18 to $2.61 per MMBtu Jan. 24.
The New York Mercantile Exchange followed a similar pattern, with the near-month contract (February) increasing 25.7 cents, from $2.472 per MMBtu Jan. 18 to $2.729 Jan. 24.
Natural gas continues to trade near a 10-year low because of abundance.
Pizza company stocks
The stock market on the whole fell slightly last week on the news of the U.S.’s fourth quarter GDP growth. Although it was the strongest quarter for the domestic economy since Q2 2010, it was below consensus of 3 percent, at 2.8 percent.
Pizza stocks didn’t experience too much of an effect, however.
Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $62.85, from $62.47 the previous week. The company hit its 52-week high last week at $63.44. A year ago, the company traded as low as $46.27.
Domino's closed last Friday at $32.31, from $32.40 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high of $35.00 in mid-December. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $15.80.
Papa John's closed last week at $39.01, from $38.85 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high last week at $39.19.The company hit its 52-week low a year ago when it traded at $26.95.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $35.60, from $35.99 the prior week. 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 $5.63, from $5.51 the previous week. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.60 in early December. PZZI traded as low as $1.86 a year ago.
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Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.