Lean Hogs are trading higher hitting the same spot for resistance the past three days. Hog expansion has been minimal with the hog corn ratio at barely profitable levels. February lean hogs gained 60 to close at $86.62 and the April contract gained 37 to close at $88.22.
Strong exports and a cattle herd expansion that was stifled by the Southern Plains drought last year has kept prices climbing. February live cattle gained 5 to close at $125 and the January feeder cattle contract gained 20 to finish at $152.
US wheat futures hit three-week highs Wednesday. The market continues to absorb buying from traders covering some of the record short in the market. March wheat in Chicago ended up 7 3/4 at $6.41, March wheat in KC wheat ended up 11 at $6.97.
US corn futures ended higher on tight near-term supplies and worries about South America's crop. March corn ended up 4 1/4 at $6.34.
US soybean futures stumbled, shunning the price influence of higher grain futures, soy products finished mixed. March soy closed down 6 1/2 at $12.13, March soy meal fell 240 to 321.10, and March soy oil gained 4 to finish at 52.39.
Cotton futures ended lower under pressure from a stronger dollar and weaker outside markets. March cotton closed at 96.92, down 126, and the May contract fell 118 to close at 97.36.
Gold futures settled above $1,700 Wednesday for the first time in six weeks as news that the Federal Reserve expects short-term interest rates to stay near zero eclipsed worries about Europe's sovereign-debt crisis. February gold gained $35.60 to $1,700.10 an ounce, and Mar silver closed at $33.12; up $1.14.
Oil futures ended a volatile session slightly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it planned to keep interest rates low in a bid to stoke the economic recovery. March crude gained 45 cents to $99.40 a barrel, February gasoline gained 2.88 cents to $2.8338 a gallon, and February distillates dropped a fraction to $3.01 a gallon.
Natural gas futures settled higher Wednesday, as a rally spurred by output cuts by natural gas producers continued to lift prices from 10-year lows hit last week. February natural gas soared 17.5 cents to $2.72.
On Wall Street the markets shed early losses and jumped into positive territory after the Fed said it would hold interest rates at exceptionally low levels until 2014. The Dow gained 83 to close at 12,758, the Nasdaq closed at 2,818, up 31 and the S&P 500 gained 11 to close at 1,326.