Julianne Johnston Pro Farmer Senior Markets Editor
From Pro Farmer
Updated as of 7:00 a.m. CT
Waiting on Changers to act... While the government's bailout plan remains under fire, stock futures are set Congress higher this morning on news Warren Buffett has injected $5 billion into Goldman Sachs. Traders say they view this as a vote of confidence from Buffett the bailout plan will be approved by Congress.
The proposed $700 billion bailout plan has met lawmaker resistance in Washington, with the primary complaints relative to a lack of help for homeowners and no limits on executive compensation. Some lawmakers are also bristling at calls for quick action on such a large package. Another hearing is on tap today for the plan. In two days this week, the Dow has fallen more than 4.5%.
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Opening calls. These calls originate more than three hours before the open -- use caution, things change::
Corn: 7 to 10 cents higher. Futures gapped slightly lower on the open yesterday, but quickly filled the gap. While futures spent most of the day below unchanged, they rallied late to close 1 1/2 to 3 1/4 cents higher. The dollar gained strength yesterday, while crude oil and gold were sharply lower amid uncertainty over whether or not Congress would enact the bailout plan proposed by the Treasury and Fed. Traders watched testimony this morning from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as they provided details to Congress.
Soybeans: 17 to 19 cents higher. Futures settled mostly 17 to 18 cents lower, which was right in the middle of the day's range and near opening levels. With fundamentals pushed to the back burner for now, focus will remain on outside markets in the overnight session and again Wednesday. November soybean futures entered Monday's upside chart gap, but failed to fill the gap. Support at the bottom of the gap is at $11.57. Initial resistance is at Monday's high of $12.12.
Wheat: 4 to 7 cents higher. Despite price-negative trade in outside markets, wheat favored the upside through much of yesterday's session. Light short-covering and technical-based buying provided the bulk of the support. Given the low-volume session, a modest uptick in buyer interest late actively extended gains to produce the high-range close. That would typically signal followthrough buying is likely Wednesday, but it will be hard for wheat to extend gains if outside markets and neighboring pits don't participate.
Cash cattle expectations: Watching beef trade. Boxed beef prices firmed 36 to 84 cents Tuesday, but movement slowed to 200 loads. Despite the sluggish performance in the boxed beef market so far this week, most cash sources and traders are favoring a slightly firmer tone in the cash cattle market. But there's still plenty of cash uncertainty.
Futures call: Mixed. Futures are called to open mixed as traders expect choppy price action to continue as they wait on cash trade to develop. Futures closed mostly around 50 cents lower yesterday amid profit-taking pressure. Price action was largely technical in nature, with traders keeping a close eye on outside markets.
Cash hog expectations: Steady to weaker. Some packers began lowering cash hog bids Tuesday as market-ready hog supplies are plentiful. Given the 86- cent drop in the pork cutout value Tuesday on the heals of an 80-cent decline Monday, cash hog bids are expected to be steady to lower at most Midwest locations today -- and the remainder of the week.
Futures call: Mixed. Futures are called to open mixed after closing near the middle of yesterday's range in most contracts. December hogs paced the decline with a $1.05 loss. Outside market support that spurred speculative buying in the hog market Monday was not present today. In fact, outside markets were price-negative, which triggered profit-taking pressure in hog futures.