The cash cattle trade remained in neutral with both bids and asking prices only sketchily defined. A few token bids were noted in the South at $104, far below asking price suggestions near $110 to $112. According to the closing report, the national hog base is .16 lower ($43.00-48.50, weighted average $47.47). Corn futures settled generally 2 cents higher, further rocking back and forth in a narrow trading range. The stock market closed higher with the Dow up 56 points and the Nasdaq better by 73.
Live contracts advanced by 30 to 142 points, lifted by short-covering and some encouraging signs of cash stability. December did succeed in nosing back over its 100-day average on the close. Yet the big gap created on Monday (i.e., 115.20-117.42) looks like formidable resistance. Beef cut-outs: sharply lower, off $1.48 (choice: $195.30) to $3.20 (select: $189.91) with light to moderate demand and moderate offerings (67 loads of choice cuts, 44 loads of select cuts, 14 loads of trimmings, 26 loads of ground beef).
THURSDAY'S CASH CATTLE CALL:
Steady to $2 higher. Packer inquiry could start to improve Thursday, but significant trade volume may be delayed until sometime Friday.
Feeder futures closed sharply higher, up 182 to 287. The midweek pop of recovery was fueled by short-covering and the premium status of the cash index. As in the case of cattle charts, the large gap area created earlier this week (e.g., 153.47-156.10 basis) now represents tough overhead resistance. CME cash feeder index: 09/26: 152.43, up .11.
Lean hog futures finished unevenly higher, up 155 to off 22. Dec and Feb attracted the most buying interest with both managing to close slightly above 40-day moving averages. Before closing modestly higher, spot October slipped to another new contract low. Carcass value held about steady with stronger demand for hams, ribs, and picnics offsetting weakness in fresh cuts. Pork cut-out: $72.64, up .15. CME cash lean index for 09/25: 56.98, off .68 (DTN Projected lean index for 09/26: 56.25, off .73).
THURSDAY'S CASH HOG CALL:
Steady to $1 lower. Look for the cash hog trade to open with steady/weak bids as packers work to supply another large Saturday kill (around 240,000 head).
For more from John, see www.feelofthemarket.com
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