U.S. lean hogs closed mostly lower Tuesday, retreating from recent gains amid worries about demand in the face of poor processing margins. June lean hogs ended up 2 to 93.52, but most other contracts were lower. August lean hogs were down 95 to 91.75.
CME cattle futures were mixed Tuesday, as traders looked at a potential pullback in beef prices. June live cattle gained 50 to $119. Feeder cattle were higher, with the August contract climbing 90 to $161
Soybean futures closed higher on Tuesday, as the government cut its forecasts for U.S. soybean supplies and traders worried that dry weather could hinder development of Midwest soy crops. July Soybeans gained 10 1/4 to$14.35
Meanwhile, the USDA didn't change its forecast for U.S. corn inventories to be 851 million bushels at the end of the current marketing year. Analysts had expected the USDA to cut its forecast. July corn fell 8 to $5.84
Wheat futures also closed lower, as the USDA forecast tighter wheat supplies than previously expected, but its estimates didn't contain any major surprises. Market participants appeared to be performing spread trades, buying soybeans while selling corn or wheat, traders said. July wheat in Chicago fell 14 1/2 to $6.16, and Kansas City Board of Trade July wheat fell 12 1/4 to $6.40.
The ICE cotton July/December contract spread widened to 673 points after the USDA raised projected ending stocks for the 2012-13 marketing year in its monthly supply/demand report. July cotton gained 48 to 75.57, while December fell 45 to 68.84.
Gold held above $1,600 an ounce Tuesday, as a weaker dollar and talk of further monetary easing drew investors seeking safety into the gold market. August gold gained $17, to $1,613.80 an ounce, and July silver closed at $28.94, up 33.3 cents
U.S. crude-oil futures settled higher Tuesday after three straight losing sessions, boosted by broader markets despite signs of high supplies in the global oil market. July crude gained 62 cents to $83.32 a barrel, July gasoline fell a fraction to $2.65a gallon, July distillates fell 1.42 cents to$2.62 a gallon.
Natural gas futures prices ended modestly higher Tuesday after a steep selloff to six-week lows Monday. July natural gas gained 1.4 cents to $2.23.
On Wall Street, stocks continued to take their cues from Europe's troubled debt market on Tuesday, staging a comeback rally to end up more than 1 percent as volatile Spanish bond yields came off earlier highs. The Dow gained 162 to finish at 12,573, the Nasdaq closed at 2,843, up 33 and the S&P 500 gained 15 to close at 1,324.