Though it was a rough week for Pizza Inn and Pie Five parent, Rave Restaurant Group, other major publicly traded pizza companies fared well over the shortened Independence Day work week.
Aside from a pretty lousy week in trading for Rave Restaurant Group, the parent company of Pizza Inn and Pie Five, pizza stocks traded higher in the shortened week of activity before the Independence Day holiday. In fact, stocks, in general, trended higher at the close of trading last Thursday after federal reports of gains in the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy last month.
For Michigan-based pizza powerhouse, Domino’s, optimistic traders lifted that stock’s value $8.28 on the week to end up at the close of trading Thursday afternoon at $365.81. Meanwhile, at the Kentucky-based pizza purveyor, Papa John’s, investors also smiled down on the brand, raising its value $4.46 for the week to close Thursday at $83.66.
That value for Papa John’s very nearly approaches that for another Louisville, Kentucky-based restaurant company, Yum Brands, Inc. The Pizza Hut parent organization closed at $1.77 last week to end at $86.56, while Texas-based double pizza brand parent, Rave Restaurant Group, did not fare as well as its competitors in trading last week, closing at just under 74 cents on the week, down 16 cents from the previous week’s close.
In Chicago cheese market trading last week, the commodity held mostly trended up, with barrels averaging $2.40 for the week, which is up 3 cents, while blocks averaged $2.64, which was down less than a penny. Closing values for barrels came in at $2.42, while 40-pound blocks fetched $2.68 at the close of trading last week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that, with the exception of a few disruptions, cheese production is strong in all regions. Limited availability on multiple varieties of cheese, particularly cheddar, has buoyed a market that, as recently as April, was in the $1 range.
The U.S.D.A. reports continued strong demand nationally, with notable retail pushes for the commodity across the U.S. The department said that while the pandemic continues to keep more consumers eating in today, cheese market are still bullish when compared to the height of COVID-19 closures. Some contacts on the cheese production side are still concerned about a potential market drop.
Though wheat contracts trended higher part of the week, several had fallen relatively steeply in trading by the end of last week. For instance, in Chicago July soft red winter fell nearly 9 cents to $4.90, while July hard red winter futures dropped almost 15 cents Thursday to end up at $4.28. In Minneapolis, July spring wheat futures fell almost 8 cents to $4.99, the U.S.D.A. reported.
Americans’ pandemic-reduced inclinations to hit the road, even over a long holiday weekend, left demand low enough to hold national fuel prices mostly steady to slightly higher over the last week, according to the American Automobile Association.
Over the holiday week, average gas prices held at about 2 cents higher than the last week at $2.17. And though that up more than 20 cents from last month, it remains a hefty 54 cents-a-gallon lower than what we were paying last year at this time, AAA said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that gas demand also ebbed from 8.61 million barrels per day the week ending June 25 to 8.56 million b/d last week. The biggest price increases in gas last week were in Florida, Nebraska and Indiana, where the cost per gallon grew 6 cents on the week, followed by Colorado and Montana, which were up 5 cents last week, then West Virginia, Michigan and Delaware, which all reported 4-cent increases.
This morning the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.18, up 16 cents from last month at this time. Mid-grade ($2.52, up 16 cents) and premium ($2.79, up 17 cents) remained in step with that trend.
The average cost of a gallon of diesel this morning was just 3 cents higher than last month at $2.44 a gallon, while E85 came in about 13 cents higher than last month at this time at $2 on average.
Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations for the last seven days reported, ending on June 24, with the Henry Hub spot price up from $1.48 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to $1.58/MMBtu over that same period.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the July 2020 contract decreased 4 cents, from $1.64/MMBtu to $1.60/MMBtu.. The price of the 12-month strip averaging July 2020 through June 2021 futures contracts declined 8 cents/MMBtu to $2.29/MMBtu.
The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 1 cent/MMBtu, averaging $4.43/MMBtu for that period. The prices of ethane, butane, and isobutane fell by 4%, 3%, and 1%, respectively. The prices of natural gasoline and propane rose by 5% and 4%, respectively. The continuing drop in the natural gasoline price reflects stock overbuild, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.