Recap for March 21

  • Concerns about delayed planting in western portions of the Corn Belt ignited fund short-covering, sending futures to the highest level in 2½ weeks. Soybean futures followed but gains were governed by less-than-expected weekly export sales figures and enduring concerns over trade with China. Wheat firmed in late-session short-covering and spillover support from corn reversed earlier declines, though a few spring wheat futures eased. May corn advanced 4¾c to close at 3.76¼ a bu. Chicago May wheat added 1¾c to close at $4.66½ a bu. Kansas City May rose 3c, closing at $4.47 a bu. Minneapolis May eased ¼c to close at $5.71¼ a bu, though most later months added about 2c. May soybeans increased 4½c to close at $9.10½ a bu, May soybean meal added $3.70 to close at $315.30 a ton, and May soybean oil dipped 0.17c to close at 29.10c a lb.
  • After earlier in the week hitting the highest levels of the year in part on falling inventories, U.S. crude oil futures slipped Thursday. The May contract dropped 25c to close at $59.98 per barrel.
  • Technology companies such as Apple and Micron Technology led major U.S. indexes higher Thursday, as investors got comfortable with the idea of riskier stocks after the Federal Reserve indicated Wednesday it intends to hold interest rates steady this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 pulled higher for the first time in three sessions, recouping their losses from earlier in the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 216.84 points to close at 25,962.51. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 30.65 points to close at 2,854.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index packed on 109.99 points to close at 7,838.96.
  • The value of the U.S. dollar increased Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve signaled it will hold interest rates steady this year, as worries over United Kingdom and European economic growth reinforced the appeal of U.S. assets
  • U.S. gold futures increased despite a stronger dollar. The April contract added $5.60 to close at $1,307.30 an oz.

Recap for March 20

  • Poor weather affecting dormant soft winter wheat in the Midwest and flooding in the spring wheat region of the Northern Plains supported wheat futures Wednesday. Technical buying and hopes for a U.S.-China trade agreement boosted soybean futures with corn edging higher as well. Chicago May wheat jumped 8¼c to close at $4.56½ a bu. Kansas City May also added 8¼, closing at $4.44 a bu. Minneapolis May added 6¼c to close at $5.71½ a bu. May soybeans added 2c to close at $9.06 a bu, May soybean meal added 80c to close at $311.60 a ton, and May soybean oil climbed 0.03c to close at 29.27c a lb. May corn edged up ¼c to close at 3.71½ a bu.
  • An unexpected decline in U.S. stockpiles sent crude oil futures to fresh four-month highs Wednesday. The expiring April contract added 80c to close at $59.83 per barrel.
  • The Federal Reserve declined to change interest rates and indicated it might not do so again in 2019. Major indexes rose after the decision but fell toward the end of the session, although the tech-focused Nasdaq eked out a gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 141.71 points to close at 25,745.67. The benchmark equity gauge’s 13% rebound in 2019 puts it within 3.6% of September’s all-time high. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index eased 8.34 points to 2,824.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 5.02 points to close at 7,728.97.
  • The U.S. dollar declined Wednesday.
  • U.S. gold futures dipped despite a stronger dollar. The April contract fell $4.80 to close at $1,301.70 an oz.

Recap for March 19

  • Winter wheat futures oscillated Tuesday before closing marginally lower. Hard red spring wheat in Minneapolis for a second day separated itself from Chicago and Kansas City and finished the day higher as grain movement across much of the northern Plains has been limited by flooding and earlier wintry weather. The soy complex, underpinned by technical buying, was mixed. Soybeans were slightly lower, pressured by the ongoing harvest in South America and concerns that U.S. farmers could boost soybean acreage above forecasts. Corn was nearly flat as traders weighed the possibility of U.S. Midwest planting delays limiting acreage versus plentiful stocks. Chicago May wheat fell ¼c to close at $4.56½ a bu, Kansas City May fell ¾c to close at $4.35¾ a bu, and Minneapolis May added 4½c to close at $5.65¼ a bu. May soybeans dropped 1¾c to close at $9.04 a bu, May soybean meal added $1 to close at $310.80 a ton, and May soybean oil fell 0.20c to close at 29.24c a lb. May corn eased ¼c to close at 3.71¼ a bu.
  • Shale producers began hedging their output to lock in relatively high prices. That, plus U.S.-China trade prospect concerns, pulled U.S. crude oil futures back from a four-month high Tuesday. The expiring April contract fell 6c to close at $59.03 per barrel.
  • A report that China is pushing back against U.S. demands amid trade negotiations weighed on U.S. equity markets, which pared gains around midday Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26.72 points to close at 25,887.38. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index eased 0.37 point to 2,832.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index moved up 9.47 points to close at 7,723.95.
  • The U.S. dollar continued to ease amid a focus on the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting. No interest rate changes are expected, but investors seek insight into the Fed’s future plans, including whether its recent rate increase pause is likely to last until the end of the year.
  • U.S. gold futures advanced as the dollar slid. The April contract rose $5 to close at $1,306.50 an oz.

Recap for March 18

  • The continued lack of a trade deal with China weighed on grain and oilseed markets Monday after reports that a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping might be punted to June. Further pressure came from less-than-expected export sales of wheat, soybeans and corn, indicating still-sluggish export demand.  Chicago May wheat fell 5½c to close at $4.56¾ a bu, Kansas City May fell 6½c to close at $4.36½ a bu, and Minneapolis May jumped 6c to close at $5.60¾ a bu. May soybeans dropped 3½c to close at $9.05¾ a bu, May soybean meal fell $1 to close at $309.80 a ton, and May soybean oil added 0.01c to close at 29.44c a lb. May corn eased 1¾c to close at 3.71½ a bu.
  • Crude oil futures advanced Monday. The April contract added 57c to close at $59.09 per barrel.
  • Investors looking ahead to key reports this week from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve sent U.S. equity markets higher Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.23 points to close at 25,914.10. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 10.46 points to 2,832.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index moved up 25.95 points to close at 7,714.48.
  • After shuffling between gains and losses Monday, the value of the U.S. dollar eased Monday ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary-policy meeting that concludes Wednesday.
  •  U.S. gold futures closed lower Monday despite the weaker dollar. The April contract fell $1.40 to close at $1,301.50 an oz.

Recap for March 15

  • Just as low-volume trading in the soy complex through Thursday seemed to indicate markets were weary of the wide swings in futures occasioned by recurrent rumors of the progress or lack thereof in the U.S.-China trade talks, soybean and soybean meal futures surged Friday following news that China passed legislation on foreign investment that was viewed by some observers as a step in the right direction. Wheat and corn futures followed suit. Chicago May wheat advanced 9½c to close at $4.62¼ a bu, Kansas City May gained 6½c to close at $4.43 a bu, and Minneapolis May rose 2¼c to close at $5.54¾ a bu. May soybeans surged 10¾c to close at $9.09¼ a bu, May soybean meal advanced $4.90 to close at $310.80 a ton, and May soybean oil fell 0.14c to close at 29.43c a lb. May corn advanced 3c to close at 3.73¼ a bu.
  • Crude oil futures declined Friday. The April contract dropped 9c to close at $58.52 per barrel.
  • Equity indexes advanced Friday partly in response to reports of China’s renewed commitment to stimulating its economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138.93 points to close at 25,848.87. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index moved up 14 points to 2,822.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 57.62 points to close at 7,688.53.
  • The value of the U.S. dollar declined on Friday.
  • U.S. gold futures advanced Friday as the dollar weakened. The April contract rose $7.80 to close at $1,302.90 an oz.