U.S. livestock futures were narrowly mixed in light trading Tuesday as volumes were light, extending a recent trend. Lean-hog contracts closed mostly lower although the spot contract finished unchanged at 73.25, December futures fell 30 to 70.75
Short-covering and technical factors helped live-cattle futures to post modest gains that held throughout the session. October live cattle rose 27 to $123.
At the livestock auctions held Monday at Canton, Siler City, and Turnersburg a total of 1529 cattle and 67 goats were sold. Slaughter cows trended steady and feeder calves were mostly $5.00 to $12.50 lower when compared to last week’s sales.
US grain and soybean futures settled mixed, with soybeans paring midday advances. Traders booked profits on prior gains, reducing risk as the extended Labor Day holiday weekend approaches. Soybeans pared gains near the close, but managed to settle higher on strong export demand. November soybean gained 3 1/2 at $17.22; December corn finished down 5 1/4 to $7.95; December wheat in Chicago finished down 5 3/4 at $8.75 and December wheat in KC fell 5 ¼ to $8.93.
No. 2 yellow shelled corn trended 5 cents lower when compared to last report. Prices ranged $7.76-$8.63 at feed mills and $7.80-8.31 at elevators. No. 1 yellow soybeans trended 4 cents higher and were $17.82 at processors, and $16.77-$17.72 at elevators. No. 2 red winter wheat trended 5 cents lower. Prices were $7.61-$7.90 at the elevators. Soybean meal, f.o.b. at processing plants was $594.20 per ton for 48% protein.
N.C. EGGS: The market is steady on small and medium, lower on the balance. Supplies are heavy. Retail demand is light. Weighted average prices for small lot sales of Grade A eggs delivered to nearby retail outlets: Extra Large 135.16, Large 132.84, Medium 96.86 and Small 83.00.
Cotton futures eased as the market anticipates the release of some of China's stockpiles. The China National Cotton Reserves Corp says it will sell 200,000-300,000 metric tons of the fiber onto the domestic market, loosening demand for imports from abroad. December cotton fell 52 to 75.62, and near month October fell 54 to 74.79.
Gold futures pared their losses Tuesday on data showing a sharp decline in U.S. consumer confidence but the contract settled lower amid renewed concerns about Europe. December gold fell $5.90 to $1,669.70, September silver closed at $30.87, down 17.3 cents
Gasoline futures Tuesday gave back some of their prior-day gains as the oil market weighed the impending arrival of Hurricane Isaac.
Front-month oil futures settled at $96.33 a barrel, up 86 cents, Gasoline futures, which jumped 2.5% Monday, closed at $3.12 per gallon, down 2.87 cents, and Front-month distillates settled at $3.12 per gallon, up a fraction.
Natural-gas futures fell Tuesday as Hurricane Isaac was set to make landfall and investors' worries about production faded. September Natural gas fell 3.9 cents to $2.61.
On Wall Street, stocks ended flat in another day of scarce activity on Tuesday after mixed economic data and as investors focused on an upcoming speech by Fed Chairman Bernanke. The Dow fell 21 to 13,102, the Nasdaq closed at 3,077, up almost 4 and the S& P 500 fell 1 to 1,409.