Narrow trading ranges in the livestock markets left the trade with a sense of uncertainty Friday. Traders are expected to mull over USDA reports released late Friday afternoon, although the information is expected to lead to only limited direction Monday.
Limited activity slowly developed in livestock trade Friday as traders backed away from wide market swings this week and focused more on position-squaring ahead of the weekend. This left prices mixed in a narrow trading range in most contracts. From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Feb LC up $2.05; Apr LC up $1.70; Mar FC up $0.30; Apr FC up $0.08; Apr LH off $4.08; May LH off $2.98.
Cash cattle trade remained at a standstill as of midafternoon Friday, and it appeared that active trade would hold off until late afternoon and evening Friday once again. This has becoming a pattern over the last few weeks of both sides holding out until Friday evening. Bids had improved slightly and were holding at $123 to $125 live and $202 dressed. Even though the gap was slowly narrowing, it was still below asking prices of $128 live and $205 to $207 dressed.
The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.42 higher ($43.50-$47.85, weighted average $46.76) on 9,206 head sold.
Corn futures were mixed in light activity with the March down 1/4 cent per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 181 points higher with Nasdaq up 67 points.