Investor Hopes on the Upswing

October 24, 2011 12:44 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Hopes still high on euro-zone rescue plan. As expected, no concrete plans for how the euro-zone will deal with its debt problems emerged from this weekend's summit. But investors remain hopeful a plan will be agreed to Wednesday, when European leaders meet again. Germany is said to be pushing for a bigger "haircut" for those holding Greek bonds -- in the 40% to 60% range. That could be a sticking point, as there's likely to be some pushback.

The long and short of it: Investor hopes concerning the euro-zone are up, but there's a lot of time for that to change from now until a deal is reached -- hopefully sometime Wednesday.

* China data also gives markets a boost. China's flash PMI, designed to give an early snapshot of the month's factory activity, rose to 51.1 in October from September's final reading of 49.9. The data suggests China's huge manufacturing sector moved back into expansion mode after three consecutive months of contraction. Additionally, the vice chairman at the state-run National Development and Reform Commission said he expects Chinese inflation to ease to under 5% the last two months of this year.

The long and short of it: Concerns with Chinese economic growth have suddenly turned to cause for hope.

* USDA meat reports: some good, some bad. USDA's Cattle on Feed Report showed Placements during September were stronger than anticipated at 100% of year-ago. That pushed the On Feed tally to 5% above year-ago, which was also stronger than expected. The report data is expected to weigh on cattle futures today, especially deferred contracts. Meanwhile, USDA's Cold Storage Report showed beef stocks below expectations at 428.081 million lbs., which suggests beef demand is a little stronger than anticipated. But pork stock as of Sept. 30 were much stronger than expected at 490.713 million lbs., which was higher than expected, signaling pork demand hasn't been as strong as anticipated.

The long and short of it: The Cattle on Feed numbers and pork stocks data should trigger a negative start for live cattle and lean hog futures. But how futures finish today will be more telling of attitudes and likely near-term price direction.


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