Cattle country is quiet in the early rounds following Wednesday's fairly active round of business. Action in the South is probably done for the week, but it sounds as if there are still cattle for sale in parts of the North. Late-week asking prices are around $125-plus in the South and $195-plus n the North. The cash hog trade has opened with bids ranging from steady to $1 lower. Corn futures are modestly higher as specs and commercials await WASDE news later this morning. The stock market is lower so far this morning with Dow off 77 and Nasdaq down by 44.
The early action is mixed here, but short covering may better explain most of the slow activity so far. Spot December need to stabilize above the late October gap (i.e., closing around 121.75) in order to avoid more selling and long liquidation. Open interest on Wednesday decreased by 436 (382,401). Spot December liquidated by 9,758 (106,730) and February expanded by 5,404 (121,052). DTN projected slaughter for today is 117,000 head.
For the most parts, feeder issues are moderately higher thanks to short covering and profit taking. Open interest on Wednesday decreased by 1,118 (64,494). CME cash feeder index for 11/07: 159.01, off 0.03.
Lean futures are narrowly mixed as we move toward midmorning with no real trend obvious. Prives changes range from 40 higher to 47 lower. Open interest on Wednesday decreased by 2,075 (268,057). Spot December lost 7,026 (79,955) and February increased by 2,618 (76,939).
Cash lean index 11/07: 68.35, off .31. DTN projected slaughter for today is 465,000 head. Saturday's kill should total close to 190,000.
John A. Harrington can be reached at email@example.com
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