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Market Recap: Wheat Futures Gain on Signs of Strong Demand

U.S. lean-hog futures posted heavy losses Tuesday, falling more closely in line with recent cash hog values, which have come under pressure as near-term supplies of heavy-weight hogs have grown. December hogs slid 12 to 84.82, February hogs fell 147 to 88.97.

Cattle futures meanwhile also fell, as traders see the potential for climbing wholesale beef prices to potentially curb spending by some domestic grocery stores and restaurants on steaks, roasts and other beef products. January feeder-cattle slid 5 to $164, December live-cattle fell 72 to $132.

Wheat gained on signs of strong demand for supplies from the U.S., the world's biggest exporter of the grain. Corn futures gained as investors who were short the market bought back contracts and closed their positions on speculation that domestic usage will remain strong. Soybeans fell as favorable weather improves crop prospects in parts of Brazil.

December Chicago wheat rose 4 to $6.53, December KC wheat gained 6 ¾ to $7.11, December Corn rose 5 1/2 to $4.22, January soybeans fell 1 1/2 to $13.19.

Cotton futures remained stuck in the same one-month range Tuesday, as concerns about tight U.S. supplies are offset by worries about a lack of demand. March cotton slipped 1 to 78.61, the May contract gained 5 to 79.14.

Gold prices slipped Tuesday, while silver notched a new 4 1/2-month low, as the potential boost from a weaker dollar struggled with pressure from worries about when the Federal Reserve would wind down its accommodative policies.

February gold lost $1.10 to $1,220.80, March silver closed at $19.06, down 22.4 cents.

Oil futures vaulted to a one-month high Tuesday on news that a new pipeline would begin carrying crude oil to Texas refineries next month, helping reduce domestic crude stockpiles.

January crude gained $2.22 to $96.04 a barrel, January gasoline jumped 4.53 cents to $2.72 a gallon, and January distillates gained 1.5 centsto $3.06 a gallon.

Natural-gas futures fell Tuesday for the first time in nine sessions, but held near six-month highs amid mixed near-term weather signals. January Natural gas fell1.2 cents to $3.97.

On Wall Street, stocks fell for a third straight session on Tuesday, dropping from record levels in a broad decline as investors took profits amid signs of a weak holiday shopping season. The Dow fell 94 to 15,914, the Nasdaq closed at 4,037, down 8 and the S&P 500 lost 5 to finish the day at 1,795. 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.