LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Fat Brands, Bobby Flay Look to Test Gourmet-Burger IPO Market

Two gourmet hamburger chains are betting investors will have an appetite for their companies’ shares, even as America’s craving for fancy burgers is waning.

Los Angeles-based Fat Brands, parent of the 162-unit Fatburger chain, said it wants to raise $24 million from an initial public offering, according to regulatory filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. It said it wants to use part of the IPO proceeds to fund a planned $10.6 million purchase of the Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse chains owned by Metromedia Restaurant Group, retire debt and finance future acquisitions.

More Shoppers Head to Whole Foods After Amazon Merger

Amazon.com Inc.'s bid to revive sales at Whole Foods is showing some signs of success, though the natural grocer's prices are still higher on many items than competitors.

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Shoppers interviewed at Whole Foods stores in New York, Chicago and Bay Area said they hadn't noticed much of a change in their grocery bills since Amazon completed its roughly $13.5 billion takeover of the grocer last week.

STORIES OF INTEREST

Hurricane Irma Could Hit Restaurants in its Path -- Market Talk

14:27 ET - If Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida over the weekend, several restaurant companies will be affected, depending on the severity of the storm and its path. Restaurants with high rates of exposure to Florida, include BJ's (BJRI), Darden (DRI) and Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), each of which rely on Florida for 10% or more of their domestic restaurant base, according to Baird. Still, Baird says any impact to those and other chains is likely to only be temporary. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Brazilian Ag Equipment Hits Rough Patch -- Market Talk

14:41 ET - Demand for farm equipment in Brazil sputtered in August, raising concerns that the strongest market lately for US equipment manufacturers may be running out of steam. Factory shipments of new farm tractors last month fell 7% from a year ago in August, while shipments of grain-harvesting combines were off 29%, a Brazilian trade association says. Shipments of sugarcane harvesting combines were down 74%. US equipment manufacturers Deere (DE), CNH Industrial (CNHI) and AGCO have relied on booming sales in South America this year to help offset the lingering weakness in North American equipment demand. JP Morgan says uncertainty about the availability of Brazilian government financing for farm equipment may have pulled some 2H equipment purchases into 1H. Looking ahead, equipment shipments are facing tough comparison figures from late 2016 when sales were juiced in advance of new engine emissions regulations that raised prices. "We caution that the risks are skewed to the downside," JPM says. (robert.tita@wsj.com; @bob_tita)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures Ease; Cattle Rise After Quiet Auction

Hog futures were mixed, easing after starting the week with an emphatic rally.

October lean hog futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell 0.3% to 63.55 cents a pound on Wednesday after rising over 3% a day earlier. Analysts said the rally created upward momentum in a market that has otherwise been under pressure.

Wholesale beef lost around a quarter of its value from early June to late August before prices began to steady last week. Beef rose $1.10 to $192.45 per 100 pounds on Tuesday, and continued to climb on Wednesday morning.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog Steady At $40.00 - Sep 6

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are steady at $40.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are $2.00 lower. Sows weighing under 450 pounds are $38.00-$40.00, 400-450 pounds are at $38.00-$40.00, 450-500 pounds are $38.00-$40.00 and those over 500 pounds are $42.00-$44.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 200 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 6

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Sep 6 +$43.26 +$49.25

Sep 5 +$42.94 +$51.98

Sep 1 +$40.36 +$50.17

* 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 101.0

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 101.9

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose 48 cents per hundred pounds, to $192.93, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 20 cents per hundred pounds, to $190.67. The total load count was 168. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.27, to $83.31 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 17:34 ET (21:34 GMT)