LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

Continue Reading Below

Farm Slump Slows Deere's U.S. Sales -- Update

Equipment maker Deere & Co. continues to face headwinds from the troubled U.S. farm economy.

Deere's farm and construction equipment sales rose 17% in the company's fiscal third quarter ended July 31, but fell short of expectations. Deere's shares fell 5.1% to $117.65 on Friday.

Hog Futures Selloff Continues -- Market Talk

11:48 ET - Hog futures extend a slump, falling for a third consecutive day. CME October lean hog contracts drop 1.6% to 65.875 cents a pound. Pork belly prices continue plunging, sliding to $1.8141 a pound on Thursday. Analysts say belly prices have likely topped after rising in recent months. Live cattle futures are also lower, with CME October contracts down 0.4% to $1.058 a pound. A pound of wholesale beef fell 1.9 cents to $1.9563 a pound on Thursday. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

Continue Reading Below

STORIES OF INTEREST

Zoe's Kitchen Latest Chain to Slow Restaurant Growth -- Market Talk

11:32 ET - Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES) is off 9% after 2Q results miss estimates and it announces slower growth plans amid a saturated restaurant market. The Mediterranean chain says it plans to open 25 to 30 new restaurants in 2018, down from the 41 analysts were expecting, and says it won't enter new markets next year but rather expand in existing ones. After experiencing slowing traffic in recent quarters, many chains have decided recently to slow growth or close restaurants. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Deere Economist: $2 Corn Not Coming Back -- Market Talk

16:50 ET - Deere's (DE) chief economist sees "minimal" risk that corn prices will fall much below a range of $3.60-$4.25 a bushel established in the aftermath of the record prices seen five years ago. "New price floors have been established by the farm-cost structure," J.B. Penn tells analysts during a conference call. "We can't go back to $2 corn over the long term simply because costs [are] such that it's just not practical." Farmers wouldn't be able to afford seed, fertilizer or fuel or cover their costs for land, he says. DE closed down 5.3% at $117.31 after F3Q equipment sales came in slightly below expectations. (robert.tita@wsj.com)

FUTURES MARKETS

Livestock Futures End Week With Losses

Cattle futures fell for the third consecutive day as lower red meat prices pressured the market.

Most-active live cattle futures for October delivery fell 0.3% to $1.059 a pound on Friday at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Aug 18

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Aug 18 +$30.01 +$63.07

Aug 17 +$28.01 +$66.06

Aug 16 +$25.13 +$66.15

* 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 96.3

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 99.7

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday fell $1.34 per hundred pounds, to $194.29, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $1.70 per hundred pounds, to $192.50. The total load count was 124. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.39, to $89.74 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 18, 2017 17:57 ET (21:57 GMT)