Harold House with the Kansas City Trade Group suggests that today could be a quiet day as far as the markets go.

“We get a Crop Progress/Conditions report this afternoon,” says House. “Expectations are that corn planting may be as high 65% percent planted which will be almost one of the largest week to week increases seen in a long time.”

Click hear KMZU’s Mandy Young talk with Kansas City Trade Group’s Harold House:

5-20 0830 Harold House

Early Livestock:

Look for live and feeder contracts to start out moderately lower this morning, pressured by Friday’s confirmation of larger than expected April placement activity. On the other hand, lean hog futures seem ready to open on a mixed basis thanks to a combination of residual selling interest and positive fundamentals.

Cattle:     Cash: Steady-$1 Lower     Futures: 25-50 Lower       Live Equiv.  $141.62 – 0.07

In the past, the immediate business round before the long Memorial Day has been known to be rocky for the cash cattle and boxed beef market as buyers slip into slow motion to await the verdict of holiday demand and clearance. Positively, packer margins are outstanding and the late-spring supply of ready cattle remains relatively tight. Preliminary asking prices are likely to be around $127-plus in the South and $203-plus in the North. Live and feeder futures are set to open moderately lower, pressured by larger than expected April placement and technical selling.

Hogs:       Cash: Steady-$0.50 Lower     Futures: mixed    Lean Equiv.  $100.49 + 0.08

Hog buyers should start out this morning trying to save money in terms of live inventory and help flagging packer margins. Yet if the offering of ready barrows and gilts continues to tighten as suggested by the seasonal trend, buyers could soon be forced to resume greater spending in the country. Lean contracts appear to set to open on a mixed basis, torn between spillover selling and the recent strength of fundamentals.

Early Grains:

Commodities in general were under pressure once again, with only old-crop corn and soybeans, soybean meal, natural gas and assorted softs trading higher. Soybeans at the Dalian Exchange were higher while Malaysian palm oil contracts were mostly higher.

Outside Markets:

Heavy liquidation from investment traders continues to pressure the sector despite a modest sell-off in the U.S. dollar index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 121 points higher Friday at 15,354. The overnight crude oil market was $0.57 lower at $95.45 while Brent crude was $0.57 lower at $104.07.