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Wheat Futures Close Higher on Cold Weather Concerns

Cattle futures advanced into the end of the session Monday, after processors late last week displayed strong demand for market-ready animals in the cash markets. The hog market was underpinned by buying across the livestock markets.

Thinly traded December cattle futures picked up 175 to $166, February rose 252 to $165, February hogs advanced 25 to 81.80,April hogs rose 45 to 84.65

Wheat futures closed higher Monday, supported by concerns that a blast of cold weather this week could damage crops in the central U.S.  Soybeans finished lower after reaching a six-week high earlier in the session. Corn futures also were pressured by increased farmer selling after prices of the grain reached a fresh high of nearly six months.

March Chicago wheat climbed 4 3/4 to $6.15, March KC wheat gained 3 ¼ to $6.47, January soybeans fell 5 3/4 to $10.41, and March corn dropped 2 to $4.12.

Cotton prices rose Monday, snapping a three-day losing streak, after a report showed the amount of U.S.-grown fiber sold abroad surged to the highest level this season.  March cotton gained 38 to 62.01, and the May contract gained 29 to 62.48.

Gold futures fell Monday, but investors kept an eye on developments in Greece, wary of political uncertainty that could cause a spike in demand for the precious metal.  February gold fell $13.40 to $1,181.90, and March silver closed at $15.77, down 36.8 cents.

Oil futures closed at new five-year lows Monday on expectations that a global glut of crude could keep growing. February crude fell $1.12 to $53.61 a barrel, January gasoline closed at $1.45, down 5 cents, and January diesel also fell a nickel to close at $1.85.

Natural gas made its biggest one-day gain in more than a month as weather forecasts predict a frigid front spreading across the country that could boost demand for home heating.  January nat gas gained 18.2 cents to $3.18.

On Wall Street, stocks ended little changed in thin trading on Monday and the S&P 500 notched its latest record high, but gains were curbed when an early rally in energy prices lost momentum.  The Dow fell 15 to 18,038, the Nasdaq closed unchanged at 4,805, and the S&P 500 gained almost 2 to close at 2,090.'

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.