GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

Continue Reading Below

Corn, Wheat Futures Tumble to Month-Low

Grain and soybean futures turned lower on Friday as the prospect of growing supplies stymied buying interest. Rain in the Midwest in the coming days should slow the speed at which farmers can harvest their corn and soybean crops, though analysts expect them to soon resume a brisk pace. Meanwhile, traders are less concerned about dry conditions in northern Brazil--which initially hampered soybean planting--with wetter forecasts in the weeks to come.

Brazil 2017-2018 Soybean Planting Advances to 20% -- Market Talk

13:47 ET - Brazilian soybean farmers had finished an estimated 20% of their planting as of Thursday, according to agricultural consultancy AgRural. That's slightly ahead of the 19% five-year average for the date, but well behind the 29% on the same date last year. Irregular rains in Brazil's breadbasket center-south region are still slowing work in the fields, with 27% of planting in Mato Grosso state finished, compared with 47% last year, AgRural said. Some farmers in the region are saying they might need to start over again in some areas, though its too early to say how big those areas might be, according to the consultancy. Brazil is the world's second-biggest soybean producer, after the U.S. (jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com)

STORIES OF INTEREST:

Continue Reading Below

Analyst Questions Whether Worst Is Over For Big Food -- Market Talk

8:05 ET - Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard says Big food companies' stock prices have fallen this year, "which makes our negative stance more controversial these days," she notes. She says cost-cutting and deal-making opportunities are there, which makes a case for investing in these food giants now. But she doesn't think the worst is over in terms of consumer eating habits changing to the detriment of companies like Kraft Heinz and General Mills. "The rise of Amazon/The Whole Foods Market is likely to spur the growth of premium fresh prepared food in brick and mortar stores...and retailers take many years to overhaul their store floor prints," she says. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

P&G Drags Down Other Consumer Stocks -- Market Talk

14:43 ET - Procter & Gamble's weak results weighed on the entire consumer goods sector today. The maker of Tide, Gillette and Pampers products says it saw consumer spending on household stapes, which was already considered tepid, slow down even more in F1Q, spelling trouble for its peers. Kimberly Clark, Church & Dwight and Clorox all fell between 1.5% and 3% during afternoon trading while P&G tumbled 4.2% to $87.77. P&G's report comes after Unilever said earlier this week it fell short of analysts expectations on sales growth in its latest quarter. (imani.moise@wsj.com; @moisenoise)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Placements Jump in September

Traders are bracing for an uptick of slaughter-ready cattle supplies next year after feedyards placed more livestock than expected in lots for fattening. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday that cattle placements in September rose 13% from a year earlier, to 2.15 million head, well above pre-report estimates that forecast a 7% increase.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 20, 2017 17:24 ET (21:24 GMT)