Lean-hog futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Friday closed higher as the market bounced back a bit after the steep losses of the last two sessions. Some traders holding short positions banked profits ahead of the weekend, which contributed to the rebound from nearly two-week lows hit in most contracts early Friday. October lean hogs closed up 70 at 85.10 while December hogs rose 65 to 82.25.
Live-cattle futures slipped to two-week lows in the nearby contracts amid disappointment over this week's cash prices and narrowly mixed wholesale beef prices ahead of the Labor Day holiday. Feeder-cattle futures were lower as well, pressured by weakness in live cattle and strength in corn prices. August live cattle closed down 25 to $123, August feeders were down 45 at $155.
U.S. soybean futures soared Friday on renewed concerns about the crop amid forecasts calling for hot, dry weather next week. Wheat futures were also higher Friday. Soybeans for September delivery at the Chicago Board of Trade ended up 43 1/4 at $13.65, September wheat in Chicago ended up 4 at $6.34
Cotton futures fell early Friday as investors fled the market on an improved outlook for this year's supplies and weaker demand for the fiber. But, managed a small gain before the close of trade. October cotton gained 29 to 84.24, and December new crop ended at 84.65, up 47.
Gold prices settled at their highest level in 11-weeks high on Friday after weaker U.S. home sales data stoked hopes of sustained stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. December Gold rose $25 to $1,395.80, September silver closed at $23.73, up 70.3 cents.
Oil futures rallied Friday, lifted by a weaker dollar and more violence in the Middle East that raised new concerns about the security of global oil supplies. Gasoline futures, meanwhile, shot higher in the wake of a steep decline in U.S. gasoline stockpiles this week and a report of a problem at a large refinery. September crude gained $1.39 to $106.42 a barrel, September gasoline gained 4.24 cents to $3.00 a gallon, and September distillates gained 4.24 cents to $3.00 a gallon.
Natural-gas futures prices fell Friday as traders booked profit from a day-earlier run to four-week highs. September Natural gas fell 6 cents to $3.48.
On Wall Street, stocks rose for a second day on Friday, led by a jump in Microsoft shares as trading occurred without incident a day after the Nasdaq stock exchange was halted for several hours due to a technical problem. Friday's volume was low. The Dow gained 15 to finish the week at 15,010, the Nasdaq closed at 3,657, up 19 and the S&P 500 gained 6 to close at 1,663.