Lean-hog futures fell Tuesday as supplies remain strong and demand is expected to soften as supermarkets focus on stocking up on turkeys ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. December hog futures settled down 0.4 cent, or 0.5%, at 85.22 cents a pound in trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. CME February hog futures fell 1.07 cents, or 1.2%, at 87.32 cents a pound.
U.S. live-cattle futures finished lower as traders took profits ahead of closely-watched monthly crop reports due out Wednesday and cash cattle sales expected later in the week. Lean-hog futures also fell as pork supplies continue to grow amid a seasonal jump in slaughter volumes and strong average animal weights. Live cattle for December delivery closed 0.65 cent, or 0.5%, lower at $1.2275 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. February futures contract fell as well, settling down 0.47 cent, or 0.4%, at $1.248 a pound. Futures for young cattle, known as feeders, ended lower, with the November contract down 0.47 cent, or 0.3%, at $1.4155 a pound.
US wheat futures rallied amid lack of farmer selling ahead of Wednesday's USDA report. Tight-fisted farmers have helped drive cash prices higher, which is supporting futures, traders say. Initial rally led by Minneapolis spring wheat. Traders expect slight supply cut in Wednesday's USDA report, but weak export demand keeping a lid on prices. Dec. CBOT wheat ended up 18 1/4c, or 2.9%, to $6.57 a bushel, MGEX Dec. wheat ended up 18c to $9.46 1/4 and KCBT Dec. wheat closed up 14c to $7.38 1/2.
US soybean futures end higher, fueled by investors evening trades ahead of today's crop production updates from federal forecasters. Traders consolidating risk, bracing for any surprises in government crop estimates, particularly after prices stumbled yesterday, analysts say. A weaker US dollar added broad-based support to commodities, but outlooks for larger projected inventories and slower export demand limited advances, analysts add. CBOT Jan soy ended 3 1/4c higher at $12.05/bushel.
Soy product futures ended mixed, as traders reduced risk exposure ahead of Wednesday's government supply and demand reports. Soyoil rose as trimmed short positions, while soymeal stumbled on the unwinding meal/oil spreads, analysts say. Dec soymeal ended down $1.70 at $307.60 per short ton, and Dec soyoil climbed 0.65c at $51.85 cents/pound.
Cotton futures bounced slightly after hitting a three-month low, but demand remains weak for the fiber. "We're not seeing much," says Jordan Lea of cotton merchant Eastern Trading Company. "We're seeing lots of business in Taiwan, in China but not for U.S. cotton." Wednesday's closely-watched USDA forecast of 2011-12 US and global production could move prices, even though a dramatic cut is not expected. December delivery settled at 97.62c a pound, up 0.9% on the day.
Natural-gas futures ended higher Tuesday, as traders snapped up contracts on the cheap following a decline earlier in the session. Gas futures have stuck to a tight range over the last two months. Mild November weather across much of the U.S. has curbed demand for gas-fueled heating. Bargain hunting among utilities, major users of natural gas, kicks in when prices have fallen too sharply, said Ed Kennedy, senior vice president of energy trading at INTL Hencorp Futures. "You've got limited downside potential; you've got limited upside potential," Kennedy said. "We've been here nine months and we're going to stay here."
Natural gas for December delivery settled up 4.9 cents, or 1.3%, to $3.745 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil futures climbed for their fifth straight session Tuesday, extending a month-long rally to close at nearly $97 a barrel as tightening oil supplies and a host of macro-economic factors buoyed the market. Light, sweet crude for December delivery ended the day up $1.28, or 1.3%, at $96.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange settled up 44 cents, or 0.4%, at $115.00 a barrel. Front-month December reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, dropped 2.18 cents, or 0.8%, to $2.7064 a gallon. December heating oil fell 0.37 cent, or 0.1%, to $3.1161 a gallon.
Gold futures settled below $1,800 on Tuesday, after rushing above that level for the first time in six weeks on worries about Italy. The third-largest economy in the European currency bloc waded into troubled waters after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi failed to secure a parliamentary majority in a budget vote. While parliament approved the budget bill, Berlusconi announced plans to resign his post shortly after gold floor trading closed in New York.
The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, settled up $8.10, or 0.5%, at $1,799.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
A good day on Wall Street with the Dow ended up 101 at 12170. Nasdaq closed the day at 2727, up 32. The S&P 500 gained 14 to finish at 1275.