U.S. lean hog futures slid to their lowest level in nearly a year as weak wholesale prices for pork continue to show supplies are outstripping demand. February hog futures fell 14 to 82.90, April hog futures fell 155 to 85.80
Live cattle futures finished mixed as traders re-positioned after a prior-day rally and outside markets added a drag. February live cattle 12 to $121, January feeders cattle fell 175 to $148.
US wheat futures ended higher, rebounding from early declines as traders positioned ahead of today's government crop reports.; March wheat in Chicago ended up 1 1/4 at $6.41, March wheat in KC closed up 3 3/4 at $7.01.
US corn futures ended just below Tuesday's close as traders evened positions ahead of key government crop reports out later this morning. March corn ended down 1/2 at $6.51.
US soybean futures fell sharply as South American rains had traders reducing risk exposure before key government reports, Soy-product futures slumped in unison with soybean. March soybeans ended down 29at $12.03, March soy meal ended down $9.70 at $312.80 and March soy oil dropped 61 to 51.89.
Cotton Traders were positioning ahead of today’s USDA WASDE report, as well as dealing with a rebound in the dollar. March cotton fell 9 to close at $96.87, and the May contract dropped 9 as well to $96.43.
Gold futures advanced to a four-week high on Wednesday, as investors bet the market's recent upswing would hold as Europe's debt woes fuel demand for alternative assets. February gold rose $8.10 to $1,639.60 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $29.89, up 7.5 cents
Crude oil futures prices settled lower Wednesday, hit by a steep fall drop in U.S. oil demand and a sharp rise in fuel stockpiles. February crude dropped $1.37 at $100.87 a barrel, February gasoline fell a fraction to $2.76 a gallon, while February distillates fell 3.68 cents to $3.06 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures plummeted 5.7% Wednesday to a 28-month low after revised weather forecasts indicated a warming trend across much of the nation. March Natural-gas ended the day down 16.7 cents at $2.77, the lowest since September 2009.
The markets shook off worries about Europe's debt crisis, closing near the highs of the session after a report from the Federal Reserve showed the economy improving during the end of last year. The Dow fell 13 to close at 12,449, the Nasdaq closed at 2,710, up 8 ¼ and the S&P 500 gained a fraction to 1,292.