Market Recap: Spring Grilling Season Lighting Fire Under Cattle Futures

Lean hog futures ended a five-day rally as traders' moves to book profits from long positions more than offset a further rise in pork prices. June hogs finished where they started, unchanged at 87.42, July hogs fell 17 to 88.57
The spring grilling season is lighting a fire under cattle futures. June live cattle closed Friday up 16 to $119, May feeder cattle climbed 67 to $151.

U.S. wheat futures surged to an eight-month high, capping a dramatic rise last week fueled by concerns about dry weather in key global production regions including the Great Plains and the former Soviet Union.

July wheat in Chicago soared 37 1/2 to $6.95, July wheat in KC rose 33 to $7.05. Separately, corn futures rose on the back of wheat's rally and on stronger cash markets. July corn gained 10 1/2 to $6.35.

Soybean futures plunged, as traders took profits on recent gains for the oilseed. Analysts said market participants were also likely selling soybeans and buying either corn or wheat to exit "spread" positions, in which they had bet that soybean prices would rise and corn or wheat prices would fall. July soybeans fell 33 to $14.05.

Cotton futures rose on Friday after buyers came in and profit-takers cashed out when the market couldn't break below Thursday's low from June 2010. July cotton closed at 77.99, up 134, the October contract gained 114 to close at 76.97.

Market watchers eager to jump on the gold bandwagon after the metal's two-day, $55/oz rally, should take a glance at the latest CFTC data. June gold gained $15.00 to $1,590.00, June silver gained 66 cents to close at $28.67.

Oil futures slid for the sixth session in a row Friday, settling at their lowest level in nearly seven months and setting yet another new low for the year as macro-economic worries and weak supply-demand fundamentals weighed on the market. June crude fell $1.08 to $91.48 a barrel, June gasoline closed at $2.88 a gallon, and June heating oil closed at $2.83 a gallon.

Natural gas prices jumped Friday, settling at their highest level in five months. Forecasts of warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected to heat up demand for the fuel. June Natural gas closed at $2.74

U.S. stocks fell on their Facebook Friday losing ground after the market debut of social networking site failed to lift optimism. Globally, world stocks erased the year's gains on Friday as investors fled risky investments for safe-haven assets on concerns about the euro zone's deepening debt woes. The Dow fell 73 to close at 12,369, the Nasdaq closed at 2,778, down 34, and the S&P 500 fell 6 to close at 1,295. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.