Cattle futures reversed course to turn lower as the USDA cattle-on-feed report exceeded expectations. Still, cash prices remained strong headed into Memorial Day weekend when grills are expected to fire up the livestock markets.
June live cattle futures fell 122 to settle at $123, the August contract dropped 245 to $118, and August feeders plunged 417 to $146.
In other markets, June lean hogs rose 87 to end at 81.87. Hams, bellies, loins and butts were all fetching higher prices heading into the holiday weekend despite record production. The July contract gained 132 to 81.90.
Corn futures rose while soybean futures slipped as wet weather in the corn belt led some market participants to place bets that farmers might switch acres from corn to soybeans ahead of upcoming insurance deadlines. Wet weather in the northern U.S. has escalated fears in the market that weather could delay plantings or hurt yields.
However, dryness and warmth would continue to stress spring wheat in the northern plains. Limited rains in the western Midwest would favor soybean planting.
July corn was up 5 to close at $3.74, soybeans for July lost 13 to end at $9.26, July Chicago wheat futures rose 7 ½ to end at $4.38, and July KC wheat gained 6 ¼ to $4.37.
Near month cotton futures ended mixed with the July contract dropping 7 to 77.09, and October gaining 69 to 75.18. All other months were lower.
Oil futures edged higher Friday, reversing earlier declines amid light trading ahead of a U.S. holiday weekend.
July crude oil gained 90 cents to close at $49.80 a barrel, June gasoline gained 3 cents to $1.64 a gallon, and June diesel gained a penny to $1.57 a gallon.
Natural gas futures rose Friday, reversing earlier losses, amid light trading ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
June nat gas rose 5.2 cents to $3.23.
On Wall Street, stocks were little changed in afternoon trading on Friday, taking a breather after recent record highs and a six-day streak of gains, though consumer shares were strong for a second session. The Dow fell 9 to 21,073, the Nasdaq closed at 6,206, up 1 and the S&P 500 fell a fraction to 2,414.