LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

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TOP STORIES

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Grocers Say Tax Bill Unfair to Independent Operators -- Market Talk

15:55 ET - The National Grocers Association is appealing to Congress to do more to create an even playing field between the tax bill's treatment of pass-through businesses and big corporations. The membership organization of independent supermarkets, many operating as pass-through entities, writes that the Senate bill has improved the tax rates charged to the entities, but its sunset provision creates too much uncertainty. The bill's language also could prevent trusts and estates from being eligible for the pass-through deduction, it writes. "NGA member companies are American, family-owned companies that do not have the tax advantage of offshore profit shifting," the organization writes in the letter Friday. "It is critical that Congress ensure a level playing field for all businesses involved." (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

STORIES OF INTEREST

Soybean Futures Turn Lower

Soybean futures ended the week lower, easing off overnight gains to fall for a third-consecutive session.

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Oilseed prices hit a multimonth high earlier this week on concerns about excessively dry weather in Argentina, which could cause problems for the country's corn and soybean crops. Given the Argentine growing season was in its early stages, however, traders judged that there was plenty of opportunity for improvement and pulled back.

Strong Hiring Report Sends Dow, S&P to Record Highs -- Market Talk

16:07 ET - The Dow rises 0.5% to 24329, the S&P adds 0.6% to 2651 and the Nasdaq adds 0.4% to 6840 as the November jobs report comes in stronger than expected and an agreement between the UK and EU on Brexit terms sent world stocks higher earlier Friday. All S&P sectors rise except materials, with Alexion Pharmaceuticals at the top of the index with a 7.2% gain as Elliott Management says it will push for changes at the company. UnitedHealth, up 1.7%, and Boeing, 1.4% higher, give the Dow a boost. Oil prices rise 1.2% to $57.36 as data shows an increase in Chinese crude imports. (jonathan.vuocolo@wsj.com; @jonvuocolo)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Steady After Cash Weakness

Cattle futures ended the week steady to lower, stabilizing after a week of selling.

December-dated live-cattle futures were little changed, at $1.15575 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while February contracts fell. Prices had previously fallen through the week.

CASH MARKETS

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Dec 8

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Dec 8 +$45.49 +$ 48.17

Dec 7 +$47.56 +$ 48.33

Dec 6 +$43.54 +$ 46.63

* 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 108.8

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 108.3

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 51 cents per hundred pounds, to $205.59, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.14 per hundred pounds, to $185.97. The total load count was 196. Wholesale-pork prices fell 7 cents, to $82.81 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 08, 2017 17:42 ET (22:42 GMT)