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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:20 a.m. CT:
Corn: Mixed. Corn is narrowly mixed this morning and has seen a very quiet overnight session. Without fresh news to digest, traders are focused on evening positions for Thursday's key USDA reports. Surprisingly, traders expect planted acreage to come in line with year-ago, which spurred some short-covering yesterday.
Soybeans: Mixed. Futures are mixed amid light full spreading, as nearbys are up a penny and deferreds are mostly a penny lower. Price action has been quiet overnight amid a lack of fresh news and position squaring ahead of Thursday's reports. Traders look for the acreage report to reflect farmers' intentions to plant around 1.3 million more acres to soybeans than last year.
Wheat: 1 to 2 cents higher. Futures are firmer amid spreading with corn, as May Chicago wheat is trading at a slight discount to May corn this morning. But without fresh demand news to digest, upside potential is wheat is being limited. More much-needed precip is headed to the Central and Southern Plains this week, but winter wheat conditions reflect a crop that is still struggling.
Live cattle: Mixed. Futures were slightly higher yesterday in reaction to the Cattle on Feed Report, but weakness in the boxed beef market will make it difficult for futures to generate much more than light followthrough buying this morning. Choice beef values slipped 85 cents yesterday and Select dropped $2.07 to return to a slight discount to Choice. The good news is lower prices spurred strong movement of 172 loads.
Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to be choppy today as traders weigh weakness in the cash market against a firmer tone in the pork market. Pork cutout values firmed 68 cents yesterday to lift packers' profit margins, but this isn't expected to translate into improved demand for cash hogs. Packers are having no difficulty securing needs for this week's holiday shortened kill schedule.