LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

By outsourcing delivery of the fish heads and other kitchen essentials to JD.com, Ms. Zhang said she no longer has to rely on 200 different suppliers for the 33-outlet restaurant chain she runs. She added that she was also saving on delivery expenses. Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES

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Supervalu Sinks on Weak Profits, Slow Retail Sales -- Market Talk

10:37 ET - Supervalu down more than 13% on fiscal 3Q earnings missing estimates on sales and operating margins. The Minneapolis-based food distributor and retailer saw unexpected expenses from high truck and logistics costs, attributing the miss to a surge in holiday sales and new retail businesses. Retail sales in identical stores dropped 3.5% during the quarter compared to the previous year, another weak period that prompted the company to lower outlook for its grocery stores. "The near-term trends remain challenging," Telsey Advisory Group writes. The company has closed stores and expects to shut more this year. Activist investors have targeted Supervalu for having too many underperforming stores. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

Supervalu Will Invest Tax Savings Back into Business -- Market Talk

11:16 ET - Food distributor Supervalu expects its effective tax rate to come down 13 percentage points in its 2019 fiscal year under the new federal plan, and to pay a minimum amount of taxes in the remainder of its current year. The Minneapolis-based company will plow the savings back into its business to pay down debts and invest as the distributor absorbs new acquisitions, executives say. "Frankly that's, that's the plan, paying down debt and investing back into business," CEO Mark Gross tells investors. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

STORIES OF INTEREST

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Sales of Big Farm Tractors Off 4% in December -- Market Talk

15:43 ET - Retail sales of high-horsepower, two-wheel-drive farm tractors in the US and Canada slipped 4% in December from a year earlier. US sales alone fell by 7% to a 14-year low for December. Big tractor sales ended 2017 down 6% from 2016 at 20,849 units, says the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Sales of harvesting combines rose 2% in December and increased 10% in 2017. Deere CEO Sam Allen offered an upbeat outlook for 2018 to analysts Tuesday, saying the falling equipment market appears to have bottomed out and predicted modest sales growth this year. (robert.tita@wsj.com; @bob_tita)

Chinese Retailer JD.com's Latest Gig: Supplying Restaurants

BEIJING -- Most Chinese consumers go to JD.com to buy electronic gadgets and other items. Restaurant operator Zhang Zong uses China's No. 2 e-commerce company to deliver 400 million pounds of carp heads.

Amazon, like JD.com, has both delivery and logistics capabilities, and its recent acquisition of Whole Foods has many analysts wondering if it will enter the restaurant-supply business. Amazon declined to comment.

FUTURES MARKETS

Cattle Futures Turn Lower on Cash-Market Weakness

Cattle futures resumed their losing streak on Wednesday, falling to the lowest close in almost four weeks.

February-dated contracts for live cattle fell 0.7% to $1.16875 a pound at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since Dec. 14.

Hog futures turned lower after hitting a multimonth high. CME February lean hog contracts slid 0.9% to 72.525 cents a pound. Prices have bumped up against selling pressure around those levels, analysts said, with chart patterns signaling to some traders that the market had reached a temporary top.

CASH MARKETS

Zumbrota, Minn Hog $1.00 Higher At $41.00 - Jan 10

Barrow and gilt prices at the Zumbrota, Minn., livestock market today are $1.00 higher at $41.00 per hundredweight.

Sow prices are steady. Sows weighing 400-450 pounds are at $30.00-$32.00, 450-500 pounds are $30.00-$32.00 and those over 500 pounds are $34.00-$36.00.

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 - Jan 10

All figures are on a per-head basis.

Date Standard Margin Estimated margin

Operating Index at vertically -

integrated operations

*

Jan 10 +$13.80 +$39.34

Jan 9 +$17.54 +$38.97

Jan 8 +$19.11 +$36.13

* 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 106.4

(Percent of Year-Ago) Select 105.9

USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday fell 43 cents per hundred pounds, to $210.06, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 46 cents per hundred pounds, to $203.23. The total load count was 134. Wholesale pork prices rose 17 cents, to $78.70 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2018 17:44 ET (22:44 GMT)