LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Corn, Soybean Futures Climb on Surprise Stocks Report

Corn and soybean futures rose after a government report showed a smaller-than-expected build up in quarterly stocks.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that stocks of corn in domestic grain bins on Sept. 1 rose to 2.295 billion bushels, up from 1.737 billion the same time last year. That was the highest in almost 30 years, though below the range of pre-report estimates.

Quarterly soybean stocks, meanwhile, rose to a decade high of 301 million bushels, up from 197 million last year. That, too, was lower than analyst estimates.

Conagra Impresses Wall Street with Sales Growth -- Market Talk

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17:09 ET - Conagra is receiving the praises of Wall Street analysts impressed with its ability to post quarterly sales growth in its refrigerated and frozen brands. Conagra has been working to turn around Healthy Choice frozen dinners and other brands that were struggling, and the company has made progress. "Conagra has avoided the setbacks that have befallen peers," RBC says, noting Conagra's "rapidly improving top-line trends." Conagra's CEO Sean Connolly says while buying smaller, trendy brands is part of his strategy, modernizing iconic brands will have a bigger effect. "You can get tremendously high velocity products when you refresh brands compared to brands consumers have never heard of," he says. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST

FDA Delays Nutrition Labeling Until 2020 -- Market Talk

11:47 ET - Big food manufacturers will have until January 2020 to add more detailed nutrition labels on their products, a nearly year and a half extension from the original July 2018 deadline. Small food companies will have until January 2021. Food companies pressed the Trump administration for an extension, arguing they needed more time to change their packaging. Industry groups welcomed the extension. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

FUTURES MARKETS

Hog Futures End Week With Rally

Hog futures leaped Friday despite a report that showed the national herd growing to a record size for this time of year.

Most-active December lean hog futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange rose 2.9% to 59.95 cents a pound, climbing above 61 cents during the session. The front-month October contract closed 0.3% lower at 55.4 cents.

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Sep 29

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Sep 29 +$47.73 +$ 26.50

Sep 28 +$46.50 +$ 24.80

Sep 27 +$46.81 +$ 24.91

* 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 103.1

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 104.8

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 21 cents per hundred pounds, to $196.62, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 61 cents per hundred pounds, to $188.50. The total load count was 120. Wholesale pork prices rose 79 cents, to $72.73 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 29, 2017 17:30 ET (21:30 GMT)