GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Fall on Demand Pressure

Grain and soybean futures were steady to lower on Wednesday. A combination of improving South American planting conditions, good U.S. harvest weather and large stockpiles are limiting buying interest, said brokerage Allendale Inc. in a note to clients. A higher U.S. dollar, which makes American crop exports more expensive, added pressure.

Grain Traders Seen Slogging Through 3Q -- Market Talk

09:56 ET - Investors aren't expecting eye-popping results when the world's top grain-trading companies report quarterly results at the end of October, and JPMorgan analysts sympathize. US grain export volumes have sunk versus last year's high levels, though soybean processing margins have been relatively good; in South America, crop shipments have surged, but processing margins look weak, JPMorgan says. That mixed picture has kept shares of Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge behind the broader US equity market, and while 2018 is too early to call, "we continue to view the risks as skewed to the downside," JPMorgan says. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

Supervalu Acquisition Continues Wholesale Push -- Market Talk

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8:17 ET - Supervalu's announcement that the Minneapolis-based food company is buying Associated Grocers of Florida further aligns the company as a distributor, not a retailer. Supervalu is slated to buy the 72-year-old wholesaler for roughly $180M, giving it new reach into the Caribbean in addition to Florida. Bankers have viewed the food distribution sector as ripe for consolidation given its still dominated by small, regional players. Supervalu acquired Unified Grocers of Illinois for $390M earlier this year. Supervalu shares rise 4.2% premarket after reporting better-than-expected results. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Danone to Combine Functions of Chairman, CEO

Danone SA (BN.FR) said Wednesday that its Chief Executive Emmanuel Faber will also serve as company chairman as of Dec. 1. The company's board of directors unanimously voted to combine the functions, Danone said. As chairman, Mr. Faber succeeds Franck Riboud, who becomes honorary chairman.

Owner of Romano's Macaroni Grill Files for Bankruptcy

The owner of casual Italian dining chain Romano's Macaroni Grill filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday with a plan to slash its debt and reorganize around its top restaurants. The chain's parent company and a handful of affiliates, including investment vehicle Mac Acquisition LLC, filed for chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Rise; Traders Look for Cash Strength

Cattle futures turned higher as the week's cash trade started. Meatpackers paid $109 per 100 pounds for 230 head of live Kansas cattle at Wednesday morning's online Fed Cattle Exchange auction, which helps establish price direction for the week. October live cattle futures rose 0.3% to $1.11475 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after falling earlier this week. Hog futures rose Wednesday, regaining ground after a selloff on Tuesday. CME December lean hog futures rose 2.5% to 63.75 cents a pound. That was the highest close since Sept. 5.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 17:38 ET (21:38 GMT)