Market Recap: Stock & Commodity Markets Experience Broad Sell-off

The broad selloff in stock and commodity markets spilled into livestock futures, with June live cattle falling 50 to $115 and May feeder cattle dropping 140 to $151. Feeders were hurt by a rally in corn, since higher feed costs can depress demand for young animals. Meanwhile, lean-hog futures were hurt by Monday's drop in wholesale-pork prices, with thinly traded May futures higher but all other contracts lower. June hogs fell 10 to 84.30, and the July contract dropped 62 to 84.30.

US soybean futures settled sharply lower, as market participants sell futures to exit long positions, reducing risk ahead of a USDA report today with key forecasts for major crops. Decline extends an easing that began last week from a nearly four-year high. July soybeans fell 27 1/2 to $14.38; July soy meal fell $9.20 to $417.30; and July soy oil dropped 31 to 53.27. July corn gained 3 to $6.23, July wheat in Chicago gained 3 to $6.15; and July wheat KC gained 4 3/4 to $6.36.

Cotton futures ticked down to a fresh near-five-month low settlement as a risk-off attitude amid uncertainty in Europe and a stronger dollar capped an early rally to 87.45. July cotton fell 49 to 86.18, and the October contract fell 122 to 86.38.

Fresh worries about Europe's debt crisis spurred investor demand for cash and sparked a wave of selling in the gold market Tuesday, pushing futures briefly below the $1,600 mark and to their lowest settlement price since the first trading day of 2012. June gold fell $34.60 to $1,604.50, and Jul silver closed at $29.45; down 63.3 cents.

Oil futures were down for the fifth straight session Tuesday as fears of slowing economies in the U.S. and Europe and expectations of higher U.S. crude supply weighed on the market. June crude closed at $97.01 a barrel, down 93 cents.

Natural gas futures rallied in the final hour of the official trading session to settle at a two-month high–and then continued the sharp rise in after-hours, electronic trading. Natural gas for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled up 5.7 cents to $2.39.

On Wall Street, stocks ended lower on Tuesday after political developments in Greece fanned concerns about Europe's fiscal health, but a late rally helped indexes cut losses to close well above lows. The Dow fell 76 to close at 12,932, the Nasdaq closed at 2,946, down 11 and the S&P 500 fell 5 to close at 1,363. 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.