Weather Woes Push Wheat Futures Higher

Hog futures closed little changed Wednesday, and continued weakness in wholesale pork prices will likely continue to constrain any significant price gains in futures markets, according to analysts.

December lean-hog futures closed unchanged from Tuesday’s price at 90.95, February contracts finished down 27 at 89.45.

Cattle futures settled lower Wednesday, giving up gains earlier in the session as some investors exited bets on higher prices.  December live cattle closed down 90 at $169, the February contract fell 135 to $169, and January feeder cattle fell 87 to $230.

Wheat futures rose to a multimonth high on Wednesday as cold weather imperils crops in major wheat producing regions in the U.S. and abroad.

Corn prices rose in part due to gains in the wheat market, and Soybean prices fell amid an uptick in selling as U.S. farmers began marketing more of their crops to take advantage of higher prices.

December Chicago Wheat gained 10 1/2 to $5.62, December KC wheat gained 3 ¾ to $6.21, December corn rose 4 to $3.78, and  January soybeans slid 4 to $10.47

Cotton futures rose to a two-week high.  March cotton gained 38 to 59.69, and the May contract gained 64 to 60.83.

Gold prices were near unchanged in quiet, preholiday trade on Wednesday as investors found little direction in lackluster U.S. economic data and a flat stock market.  February gold closed down 30 cents, at $1,197.50, and March silver closed at $16.06, down .5 cents.

Oil prices sagged to four-year lows on Wednesday, as Saudi Arabia’s oil minister hinted he wouldn’t push for a cut in OPEC’s production targets. January crude fell 40 cents to $73.69 a barrel, December gasoline futures lost a fraction to $2.03 a gallon, and December diesel gained a fraction to $2.39 a gallon.

Natural gas futures closed lower Wednesday, with traders looking to get out of the market before the holiday and before unseasonably warm weather could damp demand.  January nat gas fell 4.8 cents to $4.35.

On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 ended at a record high Wednesday in a quiet, preholiday trading session.  The Dow rose 12 to 17,827,  the Nasdaq gained 29 to 4,787, and the S&P 500 gained 5 to 2,072, marking its 47th closing high in 2014.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.