Weekend Developments

12:00AM Oct 13, 2008
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Julianne Johnston Pro Farmer Senior Markets Editor

From Pro Farmer

Updated as of 7:00 a.m. CT

All eyes remain on outside markets... The stock market is set for a higher start, as investors are pleased with weekend developments. World leaders met over the weekend to work on fixing the world's financial crisis. With the Nasdaq and S&P futures sharply higher, the stock market is expected to see a strong start. Crude oil futures were higher, while the dollar was lower overnight, which supported grain futures overnight.

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Opening calls. These calls originate more than three hours before the open -- use caution, things change::

Corn: 6 to 8 cents higher. Futures were higher overnight on short-covering, expected strong start to stock market. Corn closed limit lower on Friday and for the week, December corn was about 46 cents below the previous week's close. Typically, the corn market would put in a seasonal low as harvest moves past the halfway point. But the global economic crisis could delay a seasonal low this year.

Soybeans: 12 to 15 cents higher. Futures were higher in overnight trade amid short-covering, more positive outside markets. Soybeans closed limit lower on Friday, and for the week, January beans were 83 cents below the previous week's close to do more technical chart damage.

Wheat: 16 to 18 cents higher. Futures were higher overnight amid short-covering and stronger outside markets. For the week, December Chicago wheat finished the week about 75 cents below the previous week's close as traders are growing increasingly concerned about the global financial crisis. Until confidence is restored in the economy, bears will remain in control.

Cash cattle expectations: Watching beef prices. Boxed beef prices continued to slide last week and Choice cuts are now below $150. Until the beef market stabilizes, packers will be reluctant to raise cash cattle prices even though feedlot supplies are tightening. And until the cash and product markets show signs of a short-term low, buying will be limited in cattle futures as traders fear reduced beef demand amid the financial crisis.

Futures call: Firmer. Futures are called firmer on ideas Friday's limit losses were overdone, as well as expectations for a strong start on Wall Street. Futures are due for a period off short-covering given oversold conditions. Still, momentum remains with bears.

Cash hog expectations: Steady to weaker. Cash hog bids are expected to start the week under pressure at most locations, as packers should have no problems securing needed supplies amid heavy market-ready numbers. But with cutting margins solidly above breakeven, packers have room to increase bids if hog movement is slower than anticipated.

Futures call: Firmer. Futures are expected to see a strong start on ideas recent losses are overdone and the market is due for a bounce. But momentum remains with bears. Futures closed sharply lower Friday, with deferred contracts leading losses. For the week, December hog futures closed a dollar below the previous week's close. Price action will continue to be strongly influenced by outside markets this week.