Commodities: 'Dear Santa, please put some oomph in my stock price!'

| by S.A. Whitehead
Commodities: 'Dear Santa, please put some oomph in my stock price!'

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Some pizza brands might be firing off a letter to Santa this week before Christmas in one last effort to make something magical happen to their stock prices. As of Friday, three of the four brands monitored by this site were down in value, while essentials such as cheese and wheat were mixed in trading for the week. 

The long, cold fall in cheese prices that began in November is still very much in force, but bids for this commodity did rise slightly last week. Trading ended Friday at $1.53, up from $1.48 the previous week, but still well below $1.76, the price fetched at the beginning of November. 

Compared with the previous week, cash bids for wheat were mixed, from 2 1/2 cents lower to 21 cents higher. Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was down 2 1/2 cents, at $4.53 1/4 to $6.12 1/4 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 3 cents to 5 cents lower, at $4.18 to $4.26 per bushel.  

Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 1 cent to 21 cents higher, at $7.32 to $7.57 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was steady to 4 1/2 cents higher, at $5.11-$5.30 per bushel.

Auto fuel

Natural gas
Natural gas spot prices fell at most locations this report week (Dec. 6–13). The Henry Hub spot price fell from $2.92/MMBtu  to $2.67/MMBtu. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the January 2018 contract price fell 21 cents, from $2.922/MMBtu to $2.715/MMBtu.

Net withdrawals from working gas totaled 69 Bcf for the week ending Dec. 8. Working natural gas stocks are 3,626 Bcf, which is 5 percent less than the year-ago level and 1 percent lower than the five-year (2012–2016) average for this time of year.

The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell 18 cents, averaging $7.90/MMBtu for the week ending Dec. 13. The price of ethane fell 8 percent, while the prices of propane, butane, and isobutane all fell 2 percent. The price of natural gasoline rose 1 percent.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, Dec. 5, the natural gas rig count remained flat at 180. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by 2 to 751. The total rig count increased by 2 to 931.

Pizza company stocks
Following a 71 cent dip in value two weeks ago, the stock price for Domino's Pizza came back with a vengeance last week, ending Friday at $185.04, up from $183.91 the previous week. 

But for the other three brands watched by Pizza Marketplace, trading was naughty, not nice. Pizza Hut parent company Yum Brands ended Friday at $82.30, down $1.02 from the previous week's close of $83.32. Papa John's fell from $57.57 to $56.85, and take-and-bake brand Papa Murphy's ended at $5.85, down from $6.22 the previous Friday.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Cheese, Delivery, Dough, Financial Management, Financial News

S.A. Whitehead

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 and 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.

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