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Cattle Futures Push Higher on Prospective Demand

Live-cattle futures finished higher Monday, on support from expectations of increasing beef demand.  Lean-hog futures were mostly lower.

Live-cattle gained as traders bet that seasonal retail demand would shift to beef following the Thanksgiving holiday. Lean-hogs were mostly lower, shedding some gains after mostly rebounding last week from six-year lows notched on Monday.

December live-cattle closed up 247 at $132, January Feeder-cattle gained 175 to $165, December lean hogs were flat at 57.45, and February hogs were down 5 at 58.27.

Soybean futures rebounded after dropping to a fresh 6 1/2-year low Monday as investor short-covering helped prop up the market. Corn and wheat also gained.

Soybeans recovered, making up for earlier losses as investors exited short positions, after prices for the oilseeds fell to their lowest levels since March 2009. Wheat gained as investors also exited bets on falling wheat prices, wagering that prices may have dropped sufficiently to encourage increased purchases by foreign and domestic buyers, and Corn climbed, pulled upward by strength in the wheat market and short-covering.

January Soybeans rose 6 3/4 to $8.64, December Chicago wheat gained 6 1/2 to $4.95, December KC wheat gained 7 ½ to $4.64, and December corn added 4 to $3.67

Cotton futures fell to a six-week low as a strong dollar weighed on commodities. March cotton fell 45 to 62.38, and the May contract fell 120 to 62.48.

Gold futures fell Monday, as a stronger dollar and broad-based negative sentiment against all commodities helped drag the metal lower. December delivery, the most actively traded contract, closed down $9.50 at $1,066.80, December silver closed at $14.03, down 6.4 cents.

Crude oil futures fell Monday, erasing earlier gains, as concerns about rising crude inventories outweighed suggestions that Saudi Arabia might cut oil production in an effort to boost prices. January crude fell 15 cents to $41.75 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 2.31 cents to $1.31 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose a fraction to $1.37 a gallon.

Natural gas futures rose Monday on calls for stronger demand despite concerns about record-high amounts of fuel in storage. December nat gas gained 6.5 cents to $2.21.

On Wall Street, stocks slipped Monday, giving back ground after last week’s sharp rally.

Stocks spent much of the session wobbling between gains and losses in light holiday-week trading. The moves followed a rebound last week that delivered the largest weekly gain for the S&P 500 in nearly a year.  The Dow fell 31 to 17,792, the Nasdaq closed at 5,102, down 2 and the S&P 500 fell 2 to 2,086.'

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.