GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Wheat Futures Rise to Multimonth Highs

CHICAGO -- Wheat futures hit a four-month high Thursday as traders bet that recent weather troubles would limit this year's crop and ease stockpiles.

Soft red winter wheat futures rose 2.4% to $4.53 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest close since Feb. 15.

Justice Department Clears Way for Dow-DuPont Merger

Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. said Thursday their delayed merger has won approval from the U.S. Justice Department, clearing the way for the deal to close without further divestitures.

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The deal, initially announced in December 2015, has faced delays as antitrust regulators sought reams of information concerning the companiesÂ’ competing businesses in insecticides, weed killers and crop seeds.

EPA's Pruitt Touts Monsanto Bug-Killer -- Market Talk

13:08 ET - The Environmental Protection Agency trumpets a new insect-killing technology developed by Monsanto (MON) as the US agency approves four products containing it. In a press release, the EPA hails the "new and innovative" technology, which enables corn plants to produce a substance that effectively silences genes in the corn rootworm, a bug that chews through the US corn crop to the tune of $1B in crop damage annually. "We are using innovation and emerging technologies to solve problems," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says. MON still needs approvals from some foreign regulators, and aims to launch the product toward the end of the decade. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Nestlé Exploring Sale of Its U.S. Confectionery Business -- Update

ZURICH -- Nestlé SA said Thursday it is considering selling its U.S. confectionery business, maker of such products as the Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, as package-food giants struggle to boost growth and accommodate changing consumer tastes.

The Swiss-based consumer giant said its U.S. confections business generated about 900 million Swiss francs ($922 million) in sales last year, or 3% of its total U.S. sales. Nestlé said the strategic review now under way doesn't include the company's Toll House baking products.

THE MARKETS:

Hog Futures Drop as Summer Supply Grows

CHICAGO -- Hog futures fell on Thursday, reversing course as traders bet that prices had hit a seasonal peak.

Lean hog futures for July delivery fell 0.6% to 82.05 cents a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after opening higher.

Cattle futures were mixed, however, making some recovery after a sharp selloff the previous session. CME August feeder cattle futures climbed 0.7% to $1.47075 a pound, initially boosted by lower corn contracts. Cheaper corn helps reduce the costs of the feed needed to fatten the younger cattle.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 15, 2017 17:40 ET (21:40 GMT)