Hogs End Week Mixed

Livestock futures finished a divergent week Friday with hogs consolidating their pork-belly-driven gains and cattle continuing its decline following higher-than-expected inventory data.

February lean hogs dipped 2 to 70.35 while the April contract closed up 67 at 70.25

Cattle futures also advanced with the April contract adding 15 to $115, June gained 12 to $105, and March feeders closed down 17 at $123.

Grain and soybean futures sank Friday as concerns emerged over demand for the crops, sapping buying across agricultural markets.

Soybeans led the declines, sliding amid weaker-than-expected buying interest from Chinese importers as well as expectations that crops are improving for rival producers like Brazil. Meanwhile, favorable weather is bolstering crops in South America, with private forecaster Informa Economics on Friday lifting its estimate for Brazilian production this season. Corn slid as the market digested an uptick in farmer selling as well as fresh worries over demand for U.S. supplies

March Soybeans fell 10 1/4 to $10.27, March corn declined 2 1/4 to $3.65, March Chicago wheat dropped 4 1/4 to $4.30, and March KC wheat fell 3 to $4.40.

Cotton futures faltered into the weekend with the March contract falling 50 to 76.41, and the May contract dropping 50 as well to 77.07.

Oil futures closed higher on Friday, as investors hoped that the output cuts by major producers would continue to chip away at global oversupply.

March crude gained 29 cents to $53.83 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 3 cents to $1.56 a gallon and diesel futures rose 1 cent at $1.67 a gallon.

Natural gas prices dropped to a two-month low Friday as investors lost faith in winter’s ability to drive up demand this year. March nat gas dropped 12.4 cents to $3.06.

On Wall Street, stocks climbed on Friday, with the S&P 500 closing just short of a record high, boosted by gains in financial shares as President Donald Trump moved ahead with deregulation action and by a strong payrolls report.  The Dow gained 186 to 20,071, the Nasdaq closed at 5,666, up 30 and the S&P 500 gained 16 to 2,297.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.