Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs surged to new contract highs Wednesday, fueled by bullish market fundamentals and fund buying, pork bellies ended lower due to insufficient buying interest. May lean hogs settled at 87.82, up 162, May bellies finished 112 lower at 96.72.
Live cattle at the CME settled higher for a second consecutive session, and some months made fresh seasonal highs, on spillover lean hog support and fund buying. Feeder cattle ended higher on short-covering and live cattle's upswing. April live cattle closed up 92 at 99.60, May feeders ended up 40 at 112.05.
U.S. wheat futures closed mostly lower in a slight setback from a rally Tuesday. The markets consolidated after price swings earlier in the week. July wheat in Chicago closed up 1 1/4 at $4.87, July wheat in KC finished down 2 at $5.10, and MGE July wheat dropped 4 1/2 to $5.26.
CBOT corn ended higher amid support from soybeans and short-covering. May corn ended up 3 3/4 at $3.59.
CBOT soybean futures rallied to their highest point since mid-January Wednesday, as strong underlying demand, technical strength and crop uncertainties helped extend the market's uptrend, soy meal futures rallied to over three-month highs, buoyed by cash market related support, and Soy oil futures ended lower. May soybeans jumped 11 1/2 to $9.95, July soy meal ended $5.50 higher at $292.80, and July soy oil fell 18 to 39.36.
ICE cotton prices posted their highest settlement in more than two years as buying continued following India's ban on cotton exports. May cotton gained 19 to 83.04.
Gold futures climbed as investors regained some comfort with perceived riskier assets amid easing market concerns about possible fallout from last week's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charges against Goldman Sachs. June gold rose $9.60 to $1,148.80 an ounce while May silver gained 25.7 cents to $18.07 an ounce.
Crude futures ended lower Wednesday on a government report showing weak U.S. oil demand and rising supplies. June crude dropped 17 cents to $83.68 a barrel, May gasoline gained a fraction to $2.28 a gallon, and May heating oil gained 2.56 cents to $2.20 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures ended slightly lower after a choppy trading day Wednesday, with prices stuck in a narrow range as traders weighed bargain-buying against moderate temperatures and a glut of supply.
May Natural gas dropped 2 cents to $3.95.
After drifting aimlessly throughout the day, Wall Street appropriately closed in a stalemate as a crush of mostly bullish earnings reports failed to produce a sustainable rally. The Dow finished up 7 at 11,124, the Nasdaq closed at 2,504, up 4, and the S&P 500 closed off 1 ¼ at 1,205.