Livestock futures all jumped Wednesday on support from multiple factors. Aug live cattle hit a 2 1/2-month high, aided by a prominent trading firm willing to accept deliveries of live cattle made against futures. Outside support and technical buying as prices ran up through key chart resistance levels, such as recent cycle tops, also contributed to gains. Feeder cattle rose mainly on support from live cattle. Lean hogs jumped as well, helped by short covering following recent declines. Aug live cattle gained 185, closing at $121, August feeders gained 112 to $139, August lean hogs gained 165 to 91.57, and the October contract gained 70 to 75.62.
At the livestock auction held Tuesday in Mount Airy a total of 286 cattle and 87 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended 2.00 to 6.00 higher; bulls were 3.00 to 5.00 higher. At the Mid-Atlantic Cattle Sales video auction on August 8th, an estimated 1,008 cattle were sold.
US grain and soybean futures jumped at session's end after choppy, low-volume trading in which traders positioned for a key USDA crop report Friday. USDA is expected to cut its production forecasts for soy and corn crops, boosting futures. Wheat futures were pressured by Russia saying it won't restrict grain exports, but wheat moved higher again on support from corn prices and worries Russia could still restrict grain exports later. Nov soybeans are up 16 ¾ at $15.82, December corn finished up 15 1/2 at $8.16, September wheat in Chicago finished up 13 at $9.02, and September wheat in KC gained 9 to close at $9.05.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 16 cents higher when compared to last report. Prices ranged $8.06-$8.92 at feed mills and $8.17-$9.02 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended mostly 23 cents higher and were $16.80 at processors, and $15.90-$16.50 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 16 cents higher and ranged $7.82-$8.34. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $565.10 per ton for 48% protein.
Despite an early drop for December cotton, the market by the close had continued recent gains as USDA data loom both today and Friday. December cotton gained 60 to 76.00, a fresh 11-week high, and near-month October gained 54 to $75.50.
Gold futures carved out a small gain Wednesday, helped by unusually low trading volumes as the number of open futures contracts neared a three-year low. December gold rose $3.20 to $1,616.00 an ounce, and December silver lost 2 to $28.14.
Crude-oil futures fell Wednesday despite a bullish inventory report, as traders took profits after the big price jump in recent days. September crude closed at $93.35 a barrel, Front-month gasoline closed at 2.98 a gallon, down 1.09 cents, and Front-month distillates closed at $3.01 a gallon, up 1.79 cents.
Natural-gas futures dropped Wednesday as traders weighed how long above-normal temperatures will continue in the U.S.--and will continue to boost demand for gas-powered electricity to run air conditioning. September Natural gas fell 3.1 cents to $2.93.
On Wall Street, stocks were little changed on Wednesday in light trading, as there were few signals to push shares in either direction one day after the benchmark S&P 500 closed above 1,400 for the first time in more than three months. The Dow gained 13 to close at 13,182, the Nasdaq closed at 3.012, down 3 and the S&P 500 gained 1 to 1,402.