Lean hog futures rose to a 2-month high due to swelling hopes for a seasonal upturn in demand, spurred in part by building positions among outside investors. February hog futures rose 107 to 87.52, April hog futures rose 172 to 88.87.
U.S. live cattle rose Tuesday, recovering prior-day losses as broad strength in commodity markets provided support. February Live Cattle rose 92 to $124, March Feeder cattle set a fresh all-time record high after closing up 117 to $155.
US wheat futures surged, rallying on worries about crops in the former Soviet Union and short-covering. March wheat in Chicago gained 21 1/4, to $6.66. March wheat in KC finished up 18 to $7.15.
US corn futures end higher on surging wheat prices and worries about South America production. March corn rose 7 1/4 to $6.39.
US soybean futures ended higher, rebounding from Monday's sharp declines, Soy product futures bounced Tuesday, retracing some of Monday's sharp losses. March soybeans finished up 13 3/4 at $11.99, March soy meal ended up $6.60 to $319.30, and March soy oil climbed 62 to $50.87.
Cotton traded near steady on Tuesday as traders squared up positions ahead of the end of the month, and a stronger dollar weighed on prices. March cotton fell 90 to close at $93.25, and the May contract dropped 36 to close at $94.51.
Gold futures carved out a slight gain Tuesday as weaker US data and a declining euro tempered earlier gains. April Gold settled at its highest level in nearly eight weeks, gaining $6 to finish at $1,740.40 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $33.26, down 26.5 cents.
Crude oil futures settled weaker Tuesday ahead of inventory data expected to show a rise in already high U.S. crude oil inventories. March crude oil fell 30 cents to $98.48 a barrel, February gasoline expired 1.67 cents higher at $2.88 a gallon, while February distillates expired 1.10 cents higher at $3.06 a gallon.
Natural gas futures plummeted nearly 8% after a volatile session Tuesday, wiping out a week's worth of gains, as mild weather and abundant supply continued to weigh on the market. March nat gas fell 21 cents, to $2.50.
Investors received a dose of economic reality on Tuesday as a slew of indicators sent a reminder through the markets that while the U.S. economy is staying afloat better than some had feared, it is hardly gangbusters. The Dow dropped 20 to close at 12,632, the Nasdaq finished at 2,813, up almost 2 and the S&P 500 fell a fraction to 1,312.