U.S. livestock futures enjoyed a record-setting session on Tuesday, led by a combination of improving prices for red meat and technical moves by traders. Lean hog futures had their own record-setting day, helped by a technical rally and improvement in wholesale pork prices. February hog futures expired during the session up 12 to 87.10, April hogs closed up 165 at 89.62
Live cattle futures for February reached an all-time intraday record high for the spot contract as it rose during the trading day to $126, Feeder cattle futures recorded their own records, helped by a fall in corn contracts.
February live cattle gained 112 to $126, and March feeders closed up 152 to $156
US wheat futures settled lower, backpedaling as traders took profits off the table. March wheat in Chicago ended down 6 1/4 at $6.35 and March wheat in KC ended down 7 3/4 to $6.75.
US corn futures ended lower, pressured by investors taking profits amid the absence of fresh supportive news, along with a firmer US dollar and outlooks for 2012 US corn acreage to climb to post-World War II highs. March corn ended down 6 at $6.33
US soybean futures ended mostly higher, with old crop contracts rallying to nearly four-month highs, Soy product futures drifted lower, succumbing to profit-taking after yesterday's sharp gains. March soybeans ended up 3 to $12.55, March soy meal ended down $0.40 at $330.10, and March soy oil ended down 3 to 53.02
Cotton edged up despite a stronger dollar and weak outside markets as traders continue to roll out of the March contract and into the May. March cotton gained 73 to 92.25, while the May contract was 30 higher at 92.84.
Gold futures ended a touch lower Tuesday, amid pressure from a stronger dollar and caution about an increasingly unstable European debt situation. April gold fell $7.20 to $1,717.70 an ounce, April silver fell 37 cents to close at $33.36.
U.S. crude oil futures settled weaker Tuesday amid conflicting economic signals from Europe. March crude fell 17 cents to $100.74 a barrel, March gasoline dropped 3 cents to $2.98 a gallon, while March distillates gained a fraction to $3.16 a gallon.
Natural gas futures rallied sharply Tuesday, as traders closed out bets on lower prices following recent declines. March nat gas gained 10.1 cents to $2.53.
On Wall Street, stocks closed little changed on Tuesday, erasing losses in the final 20 minutes of trading, after a Greek government source said the conservative party leader would make a written commitment sought by international lenders. The Dow gained 4 to close at 12,878, the Nasdaq gained a fraction to 2,931, and the S&P 500 dropped 1 to close at 1,350.