U.S. lean-hog futures rallied Monday, sparked by signs that the recent historic summer heat wave continues to make hogs lighter at slaughter while also raising feed costs, both of which point to lower supplies. August hogs climbed 65 to 93.95, the October contract gained 187 to 84.12.
Live-cattle futures on Monday finished a volatile session modestly lower, reflecting concerns among traders that the long summer heat wave will depress demand while raising supplies. August live cattle closed down 15 at $119, August feeder cattle closed down 225 at $144.
Front-month soybean futures set record intraday and closing levels amid expanding worries about the US crop's yield amid a worsening drought. Traders expected a USDA report released after the close of open-outcry trade to show another sharp drop in condition ratings for soybeans, which could drive further gains overnight before some profit-taking today ahead of another USDA report Wednesday, which will include updated forecasts for US soybean yields and inventories. Meanwhile, deferred corn futures that were limit-up earlier Monday give up some gains by the close, but remained sharply higher on drought worries. July soybeans settled up 45 1/4 at $16.65, July corn jumped 32 to $7.75, July wheat in Chicago gained 19 1/2 to $8.10, and July wheat in KC gained 28 to $8.17
Cotton ticked higher Monday in very-thin volume as Wednesday morning's monthly USDA supply/demand report looms. Most analysts expect a cut in production estimates due to a reduction in planted acreage. December cotton gained 7 to 70.69, near month October fell 16 to 70.37.
Gold futures ended higher in quiet trading Monday as signs of modest progress in Europe firmed investor sentiment. August gold rose $10.20 to $1,589.10, and September silver closed at $27.44, up 52.4 cents.
U.S. oil futures jumped Monday on the increased likelihood that a labor dispute in Norway will result in a complete shutdown of the country's production. August crude closed at $85.99 a barrel up $1.54.
Natural-gas futures prices rose on Monday, as forecasts for above-normal temperatures in mid-July for much of the nation spurred hopes of rising gas consumption. August nat gas gained 10.7 cents to $2.88.
On Wall Street, stocks slipped in light trading on Monday, weighed down by weak economic data from Asia and signs of economic trouble in Europe, underscored by higher Spanish and Italian bond yields. The Dow fell 36 to 12,736, the Nasdaq closed at 2,931, down 5 and the S&P 500 fell 2 to 1,352.