Commodities: Pizza stocks up + gas prices down = Frown inversion
Fuel prices are finally falling, while all four stocks monitored here are gaining.
The price of cheese shot up Friday before the close of trading to finish the week up11 cents higher than just the day before to close the week at $1.60 Friday. That's a 12-cent increase from the previous Friday when cheese fetched an average of $1.48.
Compared to last week, grain prices were mixed. Weekly export sales for wheat were bearish coming in at 30.2 mb (821,800 mt) with 9.5 mb (358,400 mt) for the 2016-2017 marketing year. Wheat was mixed from 3/4 cent lower to 44 cents higher.
Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 20 3/4 to 44 3/4 cents higher from $4.39 1/2-$5.29 1/2 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 20 cents lower to 5 cents higher from $4.02-$4.27 per bushel.
Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 17 3/4 to 20 3/4 cents lower from $6.47 1/2-$6.57 1/2 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 3/4 cent lower to 15 cents higher from $4.57 3/4-$4.85 per bushel.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Who knows how long it will last, but the great news is that the price of vehicle fuel is finally beginning to show signs of decreasing, or at the very least, leveling off.
At the pump this morning, we paid $2.35 for a gallon of regular, down 4 cents from last week and last month, but still 14 cents higher than this time last year when we paid just $2.21. Fluctuations for better grades of gas, like medium and high, were even more pronounced, but still followed the same course as regular-grade.
Medium-grade gas was $2.63, down 3 cents from the week before and 1 cent from a month earlier, but still 20 cents higher than last year. Meanwhile, premium was down 3 cents from last week to $2.88, which is even with the price from a month ago, but still 20 cents higher than what we paid last year at the same time.
Finally, diesel prices have not fluctuated as greatly as the gasoline grades recently, but are still 29 cents higher than last year at this time, when we paid, $2.22. This morning, that same product is $2.51.
For the week ending on Wednesday, May 3, natural gas spot prices rose at most locations with the Henry Hub spot price rising from $3.02 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) the previous week, to $3.09/MMBtu. At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the May 2017 contract expired last Wednesday at $3.142/MMBtu. The June 2017 contract price decreased to $3.228/MMBtu, down 4 cents.
Temperatures in the Lower 48 states averaged 2 degrees warmer than the normal and one degree lower than last year at this time. This pattern prevailed in all regions of the Lower 48 states except the West North Central and South Central Census Divisions.
Pizza company stocks
Pizza company stocks had an extraordinary week in trading with every brand monitored by this site taking flights up in overall value. Domino's Pizza, for instance, jumped from $181.39 at the close of trading on April 28 to $193.12 at the close last Friday. Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands, had increased from $65.75 on April 28 at the close to $69.30 last Friday at the end of business.
Meanwhile, on the NASDAQ, Papa John's closed Friday at $81.13, up a healthy $2.07 from the previous Friday's close of $79.06. Take-and-bake chain, Papa Murphy's rounded out the successful trading week to close at $5.18 Friday, up from $4.88 a week earlier.
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 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.