Hog futures tumbled off their perch on Thursday as traders locked in profits on a recent rally. Analysts said wavering wholesale pork prices this week prompted some traders to roll out of their optimistic bets, in case futures peak. Cattle futures, meanwhile, did a U-turn, closing higher after dropping at the opening. Steady cash market prices, bucking a recent downward trend, created buying interest in futures,
July lean hog futures fell 57 to 91.47, and August dropped 192 to 82.65.
August live cattle futures rose 140 to $114, October gained 105 to $113, and August feeder cattle futures rose 240 to $144.
Wheat futures fell sharply Thursday, halting a recent rally even as the U.S. crop remains under threat.
Spring wheat futures gained around 40% in a month as drought conditions stressed the crop in states like the Dakotas, also helping pull other winter-wheat varieties higher. Traders reversed course on Thursday, however, selling contracts to lock in gains. The selling came despite a continued decline in crop conditions, reported by USDA on Wednesday afternoon. The selling also weighed on corn and soybean futures, which recently started to rally alongside wheat. Uncertainty over whether the difficult conditions that have plagued the northern Plains could drift eastward toward the Corn Belt have prompted buying, especially with the corn crop entering into its key yield-forming phase.
September Chicago wheat fell 20 ½ to $5.39, July KC wheat fell 20 ¾ to $5.30, July corn fell 1 ½ to $3.80, July soybeans recovered from losses to close 4 ½ higher at $9.80.
Cotton futures bucked the downward commodity trend with the October contract gaining 46 to 69.47, and December gaining 69 to 68.35.
Oil futures rebounded slightly Thursday after data showing a drop in U.S. stockpiles reignited a two-week-long rally.
August crude settled up 39 cents at $45.52 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 2.63 cents to $1.52 a gallon, and Diesel gained a fraction to $1.48 a gallon.
Natural gas futures snapped a four-session losing streak Thursday as lower prices and warmer weather forecasts bolster expectations for demand heading into the peak of the summer.
August Natural gas settled up 4.8 cents at $2.88.
On Wall Street, stocks were sharply lower on Thursday after disappointing labor market data clashed with the possibility of a more hawkish Federal Reserve, while rising tensions in the Korean peninsula providing additional pressure. The Dow fell 158 to 21,320, the Nasdaq closed at 6,089, down 61, and the S&P 500 dropped 22 to close at 2,409.