The cattle market turned lower this morning with speculation on a rumor that a person in Texas died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. At one point live cattle futures were $1.80 lower.
After a few calls to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Texas cattle organizations, we learned that an older gentleman in Texas did die of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, according to sources at NCBA, but it was NOT the variant form (that some refer to as "mad cow"). The form that the man died from is a naturally occurring, rare form of the disease but it is in no way tied to consuming beef.
As the morning has moved on, the market is still lower, but not as dramatic as earlier this morning. We'll see where it ends up when the market closes later today.