On the markets last week, every commodity and brand seemed to be heading in its own direction, with cheese prices down, wheat mixed, vehicle fuel lower and natural gas higher. That "little-bit-of-everything" tone continued for pizza brand trading too on Wall Street last week, with the biggest names ending up the biggest winners overall.
Cheese prices were down slightly at the close of trading last Friday, when the essential pizza commodity was going for $1.50. That's down four cents from the previous week's closing value of $1.54.
Cash bids for wheat were mixed, with Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 2 1/4 to 12 1/4 cents lower, from $5.50 3/4-$6.20 3/4 per bushel. Kansas City U.S. No. 2 Soft Red winter rail bid was not quoted.
St. Louis truck U.S. No. 2 Soft Red Winter terminal bid was 10 to 12 cents lower, from $4.51-$4.66 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 4 1/2 to 19 1/2 cents higher, at $7.48 per bushel.
Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was steady to 10 cents higher, from $5.30-$5.62 per bushel.
Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations for the report week ending Feb. 21. The Henry Hub spot price rose from $2.51 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to $2.65/MMBtu over that period and at the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the March 2018 contract price rose 7 cents to $2.659/MMBtu Feb. 21.
Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 124 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending Feb. 16. Working natural gas stocks are 1,760 Bcf, which is 26 percent less than the year-ago level and 19 percent lower than the five-year (2013-17) average for this week.
The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 27 cents, averaging $7.50/MMBtu for the week ending Feb. 21. The price of ethane fell by 2 percent. The prices of natural gasoline and propane both rose by 3 percent, while butane and isobutane prices rose by 11 and 9 percent, respectively.
According to Baker Hughes, the natural gas rig count decreased by 7 to 177 for the week ending Feb. 13. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 7 to 798. The total rig count remained at 975.
Pizza company stocks
In the pizza stock market game, the biggest players were pocketing the biggest gains in trading last week, with Domino's up $8.11 cents over the course of NYSE activity last week, ending up Friday at the close at 228.85, up from the previous Friday's close of $220.74.
Likewise, multi-brand player, Yum Brands — parent of the Pizza Hut chain — saw a slight bump in value during trading last week to ring in at $79.80 at the close off trading Friday, up from $78.25 at the close of trading the previous week.
Another large single-brand player headquartered in Louisville did not fare as well over on the NASDAQ last week, ending Friday down 12 cents in value over the week to close at $57.20. But the week's biggest loser in trading last week was Papa Murphy's, which closed Friday at $4.86, down 33 cents in value from the previous week's close of $5.19.
Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.