LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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McDonald's Earnings Beat Expectations

McDonald's Corp.'s bet that low prices will bring in customers is paying off for now.

The burger giant, which beat analysts' expectations in the second quarter, said its $1 drinks promotion and a new line of burgers helped reverse a sales slump in its U.S. business.

But price promotions can't drive sales over the long term, and the company said it isn't relying on short-term tactics to retain customers. After losing customers to rival fast-food chains in the last few years in an increasingly competitive fast-food market, McDonald's decided it needed to first get customers back in the restaurants.

McDonald's China Sale to Close in Coming Weeks -- Market Talk

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12:47 ET - McDonald's (MCD) deal to sell an 80% stake in its China and Hong Kong operations to a Chinese state-owned company and US private-equity firm Carlyle Group is expected to close in the coming weeks, the company tells investors. With the closing of that deal, MCD will have reached its goal of selling 4,000 restaurants to other operators a year earlier than originally planned. CFO Kevin Ozan says MCD will use proceeds of the sale to buy back company shares. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Mexico's Lala Could Use Debt, Equity for Acquisitions -- Market Talk

13:02 ET - Debt-free Mexican dairy-products company Grupo Lala (LALA.MX) could take on financing for up to 2.5 or 3 times 12-month Ebitda for an eventual acquisition, and wouldn't rule out issuing stock "if we believe this is the right path to follow," CFO Alberto Arellano tells analysts. Following a Brazilian media report that Lala is the front-runner to buy J&F's dairy business Vigor, CEO Scot Rank says Lala has "no relevant information at this time in relation to any possible acquisition." In North America, Lala looks for value-added products in high-growth niche segments, while in the rest of the Americas it's interested in "significant operations that allow us to enter our market with a solid manufacturing base," he adds. Lala gains 1.2% following strong 2Q earnings. "We think the shares can continue to have an overhang on this potential acquisition," says Credit Suisse. (anthony.harrup@wsj.com)

Grain, Soybean Futures Selloff Continues

Grain and soybean futures extended losses as traders soured on the near-term price outlook for the crops.

Soybean futures initially rose overnight after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the share of the U.S. oilseed crop in good-or-excellent condition fell to 57%, down an unexpected 4% from a week earlier.

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Turn Lower on Supply Concerns; Hogs Gain

Cattle futures reversed course, falling as traders fretted over increasing supplies.

Wholesale beef prices slid as of midday Tuesday, under pressure because of a seasonal tendency to eat less red meat in summer. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report Monday afternoon also put frozen beef stocks in June at 416.7 million pounds, up 1% from May but down 10% from a year earlier. That was larger than what some analysts expected.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $54.00 - Jul 25

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today

are steady at $54.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are

$60.00-$62.00, 400-450 pounds are at $60.000-$62.00, 450-500 pounds

are $60.00-$62.00 and those over 500 pounds are $64.00-$66.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 150 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 25

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jul 25 +$36.01 +$ 89.37

Jul 24 +$34.16 +$ 87.86

Jul 21 +$35.13 +$ 90.29

* 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 103.8

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 104.9

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday rose 16 cents per hundred pounds, to $207.62, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.04 per hundred pounds, to $198.93. The total load count was 113. Wholesale pork prices rose 70 cents, to $101.97 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 25, 2017 17:20 ET (21:20 GMT)