Livestock futures ended mixed in quiet trade Thursday ahead of the long holiday weekend. Increased cattle placements and more cattle in feed yards detailed in Thursday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report may affect market direction early next week.
Livestock futures ended mixed Thursday in light trade, leaving traders to ponder further directional shifts early next week. From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: Apr live cattle up $1.60; Jun live cattle up $0.30; Apr feeder cattle up $0.38; Aug feeder cattle up $0.23; Jun lean hogs up $0.63; Jun lean hogs up $0.63. Markets will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday, opening at normal times Monday. Light-to-moderate cash cattle trade developed in the North Thursday with prices at $130 to $132 live and $208 dressed. This is $3 per cwt higher than last week. Combined with Southern trade Wednesday at $126, $2 per cwt higher, the tone of the market appears to be set. There may be some additional clean-up trade late Thursday or sometime Friday, but most business needing to be done is likely in the books late afternoon Thursday. The National Daily Direct afternoon hog report was $0.96 higher ($71-$81, weighted average $77.93) on 11,248 head sold. Corn futures were mixed in light trade with May up 1/4 cent per bushel. The Dow Jones Index was 111 points higher with Nasdaq up 2 points.