LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Soybean Futures Hit Multimonth Highs on Drier Forecasts

Soybean futures climbed to the highest point in over three months on Friday, as drier Midwestern weather exacerbated concerns about the crop.

Oilseed contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade inched above $10 for the first time since March 24, when bumper harvests in South America started pressuring U.S. prices. But soybean futures have rallied since the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last week that farmers sowed fewer acres of the crop than expected.

U.S. Stocks Boosted by Financial Shares

U.S. stocks ended the week higher, lifted by shares of financial companies.

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Bank stocks have been rallying since the firms passed the Federal Reserve's stress tests and some quickly announced higher dividends in late June. Rising government bond yields helped lift banks further this past week, as rising interest rates can boost bank profits.

The gains offset losses by energy companies, which were weighed down by a drop in the price of oil.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Brazil's 2016-2017 Soybean Harvest Already 2/3 Sold -- Market Talk

14:11 ET - Brazilian soybean growers had already sold 67% of the 2016-2017 harvest as of Friday, according to agricultural consultancy Safras & Mercado. That lags behind the 82% already sold on the same date a year ago, and behind the 80% five-year average for the date, Safras says. The country produced a record crop of soybeans in the recently-finished harvest, which Safras has estimated at 113.4M metric tons, and 76.3M tons have been sold, according to the group's estimate. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

US Has Heaviest Rains in Decades -- Market Talk

11:47 ET - Growers and event planners should reach for their umbrellas. Rainfall across the US so far this year is the highest since 1998, federal climate analysts report today. Precipitation in June measured 3.01 inches, ranking near the middle in the 123-year period of record-keeping. Above-average precipitation in the Deep South and parts of the Great Lakes offset below-average precipitation in the Southwest, Central Rockies and Great Plains. Overall, the rainfall so far for the contiguous US is 17.86 inches, 2.55 inches above average, they say. (lee.hotz@wsj.com; @leHotz)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Bounce on Belly Prices

Hog futures inched higher on soaring pork belly prices on Friday, while cattle futures were mixed.

Fresh pork belly prices are at all-time highs, according to Dennis Smith, a broker at Archer Financial Services. A pound of bellies rose 4.5 cents to almost $2.06 on Friday, near double the cost of a wholesale pork carcass.

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 7

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jul 7 +$31.91 +$ 95.17

Jul 6 +$27.86 +$ 92.64

Jul 5 +$28.81 +$ 92.74

* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production.

A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of

production of the animals.

Beef-O-Meter

This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite

values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices.

Beef

For Today Choice 104.7

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 102.8

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday fell $1.21 per hundred pounds, to $218.84, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.25 per hundred pounds, to $202.51. The total load count was 162. Wholesale pork prices rose $1.18, to $104.67 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 07, 2017 17:21 ET (21:21 GMT)