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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights as of 6:55 a.m. CT and opening livestock calls:
Corn: Mixed. Futures are narrowly mixed this morning in lackluster trade. The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning and crude oil and gold are higher. Positive outside markets are only helping to limit pressure as traders wait on this morning's weekly export sales data. Corn futures have posted a narrow trading range so far this week -- remaining within the boundaries of the recent consolidation range.
Soybeans: Mixed. Nearby futures are marginally to 1 cent lower this morning, with deferreds steady to 5 cents higher. Positive outside markets are limiting pressure on nearbys as traders wait on this morning's weekly export sales data. Traders look for the report to show an uptick in sales compared to the previous week. Soybean futures have posted some technical improvement this week as futures are pivoting around the early October highs.
Wheat: Marginally to 2 cents lower. Wheat futures are weaker this morning amid a lack of fresh news. Weakness in the dollar is helping to limit selling, but a dose of fresh demand news is needed to interest buyers. Wheat futures have extended their recovery from the mid-October high, but still remain within the bounds of the long-lasting consolidation range.
Live cattle: Steady to higher. The rise to an all-time high in Choice boxed beef values is expected to support cattle futures this morning. Choice beef values were up another 86 cents yesterday to $199.38. Impressively, movement was strong at 189 loads. Traders are cautious, though, as they worry beef prices will soon be met with resistance. Traders are still waiting on cash cattle trade to begin, which could limit buying as packers are dealing with negative profit margins.
Lean Hogs: Lower. Futures are expected to be pressured by weakness in the pork cutout market, as values declined $1.99 yesterday to push packers' profit margins into the red. As a result, the cash hog market is expected to be steady to softer today. Weakness in the pork market is raising expectations a near-term high has been posted in lean hog futures, although no serious technical chart damage has been done.