LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Smithfield Is Halfway Through Transition to the Cloud -- Market Talk

15:17 ET - Smithfield Foods is 50% finished moving all applications to the public cloud, mainly Amazon's (AMZN) AWS and Microsoft's (MSFT) Azure, technology chief Jeffrey Thomas tells WSJ. The migration prompted him to rethink Smithfield's cybersecurity approach. The Smithfield, Va.-based pork producer historically has run a mix of software in its own data centers and software managed off-site by third-party hosts, setting up security differently in each scenario. Now Smithfield can unify its security tools and techniques to protect sensitive data the same way company-wide. "We can't go to the cloud fast enough," he says. (kim.nash@wsj.com)

Hog Futures Lower on Cash Market Weakness -- Market Talk

10:10 ET - Hog futures fall at the opening. Prices on the cash market were down on Monday and are expected to continue falling, with packers bidding 50 cents to $1.50 less. Futures are nevertheless at a significant discount to the cash market, while wholesale pork prices and packer margins remain high. CME August lean hog futures fall 0.3% to 80.1 cents a pound. CME August live cattle futures rise 0.5% to $1.125 a pound. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Grain Trading Rebounds at ADM -- Market Talk

9:23 ET - A near-doubling in profit from Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) agricultural services division, which has struggled against persistently low crop prices, helps lift ADM's adjusted 2Q profit above analysts' expectations. ADM's grain merchandising division swung from a prior-year loss to a $40M profit for the period, which executives attributed largely to strong performance in North America, where ADM ranks among the largest processors and exporters of crops. Corn processing profits jumped by more than one-third, while oilseeds processing declined 12% and its flavorings business dipped slightly. ADM shares off slightly in premarket trading. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Bayer Submits Remedies to EU for Monsanto Deal -- Market Talk

10:55 ET - Bayer (BAYRY) on Monday submitted to the European Commission concessions for the German chemicals conglomerate's $57B takeover of Monsanto (MON), according to a regulatory filing. The EU expects to decide whether to open an in-depth review of the deal by Aug 22, a step many analysts expect given the size of the deal, which would unite Monsanto's biotech crops franchise with Bayer's pesticides business. To win antitrust approvals, Bayer already has pledged to sell its glufosinate herbicide business along with related crop genes that render plants impervious to the chemical, and cotton and canola seed units are also widely expected to be sold. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Farm Challenges Continue to Pressure Mosaic -- Market Talk

10:51 ET - Mosaic (MOS) shares drop 7% despite what analysts regard as a rather good 2Q performance for the fertilizer manufacturer in a tough agricultural economy. The Minnesota company swung to a $97.3M net profit for the quarter, topping analysts' expectations, and net sales grew -- but updated projections for the third quarter undershoot what some analysts had hoped for, as Mosaic lowers expectations for some sales. MOS recently $22.46, extending the stock's year-to-date decline to 23%. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Rise From Low for the Year

Cattle futures bounced from a low for the year to close higher Tuesday as traders bet that prices had bottomed.

Contracts for live cattle have fallen from a seasonal peak in early June to trade at 2017 lows in July, sliding around 15% as seasonal pressures such as growing supplies and weaker beef demand pressure prices.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $52.00 - Aug 1

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $52.00 per hundredweight. Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $62.00-$65.00, 400-450 pounds are at $62.000-$65.00, 450-500 pounds are $62.00-$65.00 and those over 500 pounds are $67.00-$69.00.

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 - Aug 1

This report reflects U.S. pork packer processing margins. The margin indices

are calculated using current cash hog or carcass values and wholesale pork

cutout values and may not reflect actual margins at the plants. These

estimates reflect the general health of the industry and are not meant to

be indicative of any particular company or plant.

Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Aug 1 +$32.57 +$ 80.79

Jul 31 +$35.84 +$ 83.18

Jul 28 +$30.79 +$ 80.94

* 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 104.0

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 104.6

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Tuesday fell 34 cents per hundred pounds, to $205.41, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 45 cents per hundred pounds, to $198.29. The total load count was 121. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.11, to $97.98 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2017 17:15 ET (21:15 GMT)