What Traders are Talking About:
* Hurricane Sandy bears down on East Coast. Hurricane Sandy is strengthening and expected to make landfall along the upper East Coast sometime today. Due to Sandy, the U.S. stock market is closed today. CME Group is closing its stock market futures and options trade at 8:15 a.m. CT and the bond market is closing at 11 a.m. CT. Pit trading at the NYMEX is also closed today, although electronic trading on the exchange is open. Federal government offices along the East Coast are also closed today, meaning USDA's weekly export inspections and crop progress data will be delayed for at least one day. There's a possibility Hurricane Sandy will cause more closures on Tuesday.
The long and short of it: Grain and livestock markets are trading a normal schedule today, although activity is expected to be light given other market closures.
* Risk-off attitude. Not only is Hurricane Sandy lowering investor risk appetite to start the week, but concerns in the euro-zone are flaring up again. Greece needs to get a new austerity measure passed so it can get its next batch of emergency funding prior to running out of cash in mid-November. There are also no signs Spain intends to seek bailout funding anytime soon. Additionally, uncertainty ahead of the Nov. 6 U.S. elections is also causing investors to be cautious.
The long and short of it: The risk-off attitude will make it harder for grain and soy futures to find sustained buying interest.
* Jobs report ahead on Friday. As of now, there have been no indications the Labor Department's jobs report scheduled for Friday will be delayed, although that could change depending on how long Hurricane Sandy keeps the East Coast shuttered. Hurricane Sandy is causing President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney to alter their campaign schedules somewhat early this week.
The long and short of it: The employment data is key as it will be the final glimpse at the labor market ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. This could be one of the deciding factors for undecided voters.
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