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Hog Futures Trade Sideways on Mixed Market Messages

Hog futures traded sideways on lower cash-market and pork prices.

Pork prices were sharply lower Thursday, that had traders cautious about longer-term support for hog futures.

August lean hogs gained 25 to 82.25, October gained 2 to 67.67.  All other months were lower.

Cattle futures reversed course to close mostly higher, with feeder cattle making the largest gains.

August live cattle closed steady at $1.14, October gained 20 to $113, and August feeders rose 135 to $147.

Grain and soybean futures rose on renewed weather concerns, as less rain fell on the Corn Belt than expected.

Corn and soybean fields in Iowa, a key crop-growing state, got less moisture than initially thought and forecasters only expect significant showers to return to the Midwest in around two weeks. That puts up to a quarter of Midwest crops at risk of stress, according to Commodity Weather Group. Spring wheat futures led prices for other wheat varieties higher on Thursday too.

August soybeans rose 6 to $9.94, September corn climbed 1 ½  to $3.74, September Chicago wheat gained 2 to $4.79, and September KC wheat gained 5 ½ to $4.81.

Cotton futures gained on Thursday with the October contract gaining 148 to 70.50, and December new crop jumping 49 to 68.89.

Oil futures rose to fresh two-month highs Thursday on building momentum from recent inventory declines.

September crude settled up 29 cents to $49.04 a barrel, Gasoline futures gained 2.73 cents to $1.64 a gallon, and Diesel futures rose a fraction to $1.60 a gallon.

Natural gas futures surged after government data showed a smaller-than-expected storage addition for last week. August Natural gas settled up 4.5 cents to $2.96.

On Wall Street, a swoon in technology and transportation shares dragged the S&P 500 lower on Thursday on a day full of corporate earnings reports, but the Dow industrials set a record closing high, helped by a jump in Verizon shares.  The Dow gained 85 to 21,796, the Nasdaq closed at 6,382, down 40 and the S&P 500 fell 2 to 2,475.'

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.