LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

Continue Reading Below

Ruby Tuesday Rejects 'Highly Conditional' Bid From Boaz Group >RT

Ruby Tuesday Inc. (RT) on Monday said its board rejected a new "highly conditional" takeover bid from Boaz Group LLC, which offered $2.88 a share for the restaurant chain.

Private-equity firm NRD Capital Management in October agreed to take Ruby Tuesday private for $146 million, or $2.40 a share, and the deal is expected to close Thursday.

Chick-fil-A Feeds Stranded Airport Passengers -- Market Talk

11:38 ET - Atlanta-based chicken chain Chick-fil-A donated more than 5,300 sandwiches to stranded passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport late last night after receiving a call from Atlanta's mayor around 10 pm seeking assistance. "We immediately mobilized operators, staff and team members who live and work near the airport, and they began hand preparing sandwiches offsite and personally delivering them," to airport and city officials who then distributed the free food to passengers, a Chick-fil-A spokeswoman says. (julie.jargon@wsj.com)

Continue Reading Below

STORIES OF INTEREST

Commodity Prices Set to Rise in 2018, RBC Says -- Market Talk

1159 ET - Commodity prices could be set for an upturn in 2018, RBC Capital Markets says. "Recent years have not been particularly kind" in terms of prices of the commodities in RBC's coverage, the brokerage notes. "However, as we head into next year, we are at least cautiously optimistic on prices and we note that geopolitical disruptions could be a much more consequential catalyst and possibly a material upside risk to prices." Oil prices will ebb and flow over the coming months, but RBC says it supports the notion of a rising price floor. The end of 2017 has had a notably bearish bias for gold, it adds. "Our baseline expectations for 2018 are for measured price increases, albeit with risks." (philip.waller@wsj.com)

Food Acquisitions Show Strategic Shift -- Market Talk

8:58 ET - Hershey's decision to acquire Amplify Snacks, which makes SkinnyPop popcorn, and Campbell's deal to buy Snyder's-Lance, which makes Snyder's of Hanover pretzels and KETTLE chips highlight the big food companies' efforts to move toward healthier snack brands where sales are growing faster than in categories like candy and canned soup. From 2012 to 2016, Snyder's-Lance's sales rose at an average of 11.5% a year, while Campbell's revenue has declined in recent years. Hershey said SkinnyPop also had double-digit percentage sales growth in recent years, which makes it attractive to Hershey. In the past few years, Campbell bought a fresh carrot business, and Hershey acquired a beef jerky brand, highlighting their strategy to broaden the types of food they sell. (annie.gasparro@wsj.com)

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Mixed; Supply Pressures Mount

Cattle futures started the week mixed as a cash-market rally lent some support to prices.

Physical cattle prices rose unexpectedly on Friday, with meatpackers around the country paying between $118 and $120.50 per 100 pounds on a live basis, above the prior week's level and defying expectations for a decline. Sales over the course of the week averaged at $119.66 live and $188.96 dressed.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Lower At $35.00 - Dec 18

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today

are $1.00 lower at $35.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady to $1.00 lower. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are

at $28.00-$29.00, 450-500 pounds are $28.00-$29.00 and those over 500

pounds are $31.00-$33.00.

The day's total run is estimated at 100 head.

Prices are provided by the Central Livestock Association.

Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Dec 18

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Dec 18 +$36.64 +$ 31.28

Dec 15 +$38.46 +$ 35.02

Dec 14 +$37.56 +$ 33.98

* 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 105.0

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 103.6

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose $1.28 per hundred pounds, to $203.15, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.76 per hundred pounds, to $185.01. The total load count was 110. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.74, to $74.95 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 18, 2017 17:08 ET (22:08 GMT)