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DTN Closing Livestock Comment 12/12 17:10
   Meat Futures Score Moderate Price Progress at Midweek

   The cattle complex closed moderately higher as traders cautiously engaged in
short covering and considered the possibility of late year packer demand for
feeder steers and heifers. Lean hog contracts also settled s higher thanks to
profit taking and the premium status of the cash index.

By John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst



   GENERAL COMMENTS: Cattle market watchers learned little Wednesday about
mid-month price potentials. Country bids were few and far between. Some asking
prices clearly reflected seller optimism: $120 to $121 in the South; $190 plus
in the North. According to the closing report, the national hog base is $0.27
lower compared with the prior day settlement ($42 to $47.21, weighted average
$46.33). March corn ended up a half-cent at $3.85 1/4 Wednesday, inching higher
in spite of USDA's small increase in its estimate of U.S. ending corn stocks on
Tuesday. The stock market closed higher with the Dow recovering 157 points and
the Nasdaq better by 66.
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