U.S. lean-hog futures Thursday extended a prior-day rebound to a second session, helped by technical factors and short covering by traders. October hogs closed up 45 to 74.15 and December hogs rose 77 to 71.80.
U.S. live-cattle futures were barely changed as traders waited for fresh signs of beef demand to signal the market's direction in coming weeks. August cattle closed up 25 to $119.
At the livestock auctions held Wednesday at North Wilkesboro and Norwood a total of 760 cattle and no goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended mixed, feeder steers were $7.00 to $12.00 lower, and feeder heifers were $2.00 to $10.00 higher when compared to last week’s sales.
US soybean futures settled at a record high close Thursday on strong export demand and tight global supplies. Corn and wheat futures end mixed, succumbing to late session profit-taking. November soy settled up 10 1/2 at $17.63; December wheat in Chicago ended down 2 3/4 at $9.03; December wheat in KC fell 6 to $9.16, and December corn finished down 5 at $8.08.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 5 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.89-$8.83 at feed mills and $7.93-8.44 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 10 cents higher and were $18.23 at processors, and $17.18-$17.60 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 5 cents lower. Prices were $7.74-$8.04 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $608.10 per ton for 48% protein.
A decent weekly US export sales report and concerns over the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac supported cotton futures. Analysts say Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas will likely suffer from heavy rains that could reduce the quality of their crops. December new crop cotton gained 29 to 76.94, and near month October gained 32 to 76.15.
Gold prices slipped alongside the euro Thursday amid quiet trade as traders continue to bide time ahead of a key policy speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. December gold fell $5.90 to $1,657.10, and December silver closed at $30.44, down 47.6 cents.
U.S. crude futures fell Thursday as workers began to return to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and investors await remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. October crude fell 87 cents to $94.62 a barrel, September gasoline fell 1.77 cents to $3.08 a gallon, and September distillates gained a fraction to $3.12 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures prices settled at a one-week high Thursday as forecasts for above-normal late summer weather eclipsed news of a bigger-than-expected rise in last week's gas storage level. October nat gas gained more than 6 cents to $2.74.
On Wall Street stocks fell on Thursday after several days of muted trading as investors took a defensive posture in anticipation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s much awaited speech later today. The Dow lost 106 to 13,000, the Nasdaq closed at 3,048, down 32, and the S&P 500 fell 11 to 1,399.