Recap for February 7

  • Corn and soybeans futures were mostly lower Tuesday as traders squared their positions ahead of Wednesday’s supply-demand updates from the USDA. Wheat futures were again mixed, hard red winter contracts higher on tight-supply concerns for higher protein wheat and a dry Plains forecasts. Strong Midwest crop forecasts weighed on soft red winter contracts, and lack of export traction pressured spring wheat futures. March corn fell 5¢ to close at $6.74 a bu. Chicago March wheat declined ½¢ to close at $7.49¾ a bu; later months were mixed. Kansas City March wheat jumped 9¾¢ to close at $8.85¾ a bu. Minneapolis March wheat eased ¼¢ to close at $9.17¼ a bu; later months were mixed, but mostly lower. March soybeans dropped 6¢ to close at $15.15¼ a bu; later months were mixed. March soybean meal fell $7.60 to close at $481.40 per ton. March soybean oil added 1.58¢ to close at 60.89¢ a lb.
  • US equity markets closed higher Tuesday after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell indicated the central bank is focusing on longer-term policy plans without rapidly responding to how financial conditions are changing in the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 265.67 points, or 0.8%, to end at 34,156.69. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 52.92 points, or 1.3%, to 4,164.00. The Nasdaq Composite added 226.34 points, or 1.9%, to 12,113.79.
  • US crude oil prices advanced for a second straight day Tuesday. The March contract jumped $3.03 to close at $77.14 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index weakened Tuesday, snapping a three-day win streak. 
  • US gold prices continued higher Tuesday, the February future adding $5.50 to settle at $1,871.70 per oz.

Recap for February 6

  • US soybean futures, after rallying to the high end of recent reading ranges last week, closed lower in a technical setback. Corn futures were negative most of the session but found support near Friday’s low and mostly closed higher. Wheat futures were mixed with nearest hard red winter wheat prices higher but all other contracts were lower on rainy forecasts for the US Midwest and Plains. March corn rose 1½¢ to close at $6.79 a bu; deferred contracts were higher save September 2024 and beyond. Chicago March wheat declined 6½¢ to close at $7.50¼ a bu. Kansas City March wheat was up 3¢ to close at $8.76 a bu, but September 2023 and beyond were lower. Minneapolis March wheat subtracted 4¢ to close at $9.17½ a bu. March soybeans dropped 10¾¢ to close at $15.21¼ a bu. March soybean meal fell $7.50 to close at $489 per ton; September 2023 and beyond were higher. March soybean oil added 25¢ to close at 59.31¢ a lb; August 2023 and beyond were lower.
  • US equity markets continued a decline kicked off last week by strong jobs reports that led to concerns the Federal Reserve might continue raising interest rates to curb wage growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 34.99 points, or 0.1%, to 33,891.02. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 25.40 points, or 0.6%, to 4,111.08. The Nasdaq Composite declined 119.50, or 1%, to 11,887.45.
  • US crude oil prices popped higher to open the week after mostly declining last week. The March contract added 72¢ to close at $74.11 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index pulled higher for third session in a row Monday. 
  • US gold prices turned higher Monday, the February future adding $3.30 to settle at $1,866.20 per oz.

Recap for February 3

  • US soybean futures declined Friday after a stronger-than-expected US jobs report triggered a strengthening of the US dollar, making US soybeans (and all other commodities) more expensive for exporters, which offset support from dry forecasts in Argentina. Wheat futures were mostly lower in a retreat from one-month highs as Egypt’s purchase Thursday of 535,000 tonnes of wheat thought to be sourced from Russia confirmed the viability, at least in the short term, of the Black Sea grain corridor. Corn edged higher as investors weighed dry Argentina forecasts against better crop prospects in Brazil. March corn rose 2¼¢ to close at $6.77½ a bu. Chicago March wheat declined 4¼¢ to close at $7.56¾ a bu. Kansas City March wheat dropped 7¾¢ to close at $8.73 a bu. Minneapolis March wheat eased 3¼¢ to close at $9.21½ a bu; all 2024 contracts posted gains. March soybeans pulled back 2¼¢ to close at $15.32 a bu. March soybean meal added $4.70 to close at $496.50 per ton. March soybean oil shed 1.88¢ to close at 59.06¢ a lb.
  • US equity markets declined Friday after a week that included central bank statements, earnings reports and economic data from the government. A stronger-than-expected jobs report indicated employers added a robust 517,000 jobs in January and pushed the unemployment rate to a 53-year low. Investors considered whether an economy picking up steam would lead the Federal Reserve to resume a more aggressive stance on raising interest rates this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 127.93 points, or 0.4%, to 33,926.01. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 43.28 points, or 1%, to 4,136.48. The Nasdaq Composite fell 193.86 points, or 1.6%, to 12,006.95.
  • US crude oil prices were lower for the fifth time in six trading days at the close of the week. The March contract dropped $2.49 to $73.39 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index pulled higher for a second straight day Friday, the currency’s third day of increases in the week. 
  • US gold prices continued sharply downward Friday, the February future dropping $53.40 to settle at $1,862.90 per oz.

Recap for February 2

  • Soybean and soymeal futures jumped higher Thursday on crop concerns in drought-laden Argentina, the largest global soymeal and soy oil exporter. The country received rain recently, but forecasts were for a return to hot, dry weather. Soy oil futures were mixed. Despite better-than-expected export sales of US corn, futures declined in technical selling amid a strengthening US dollar. The latter pressured hard red winter and spring wheat futures, while soft red winter futures advanced in back-and-forth trade. March corn fell 5¾¢ to close at $6.75¼ a bu. Chicago March wheat edged up 1¼¢ to close at $7.61 a bu. Kansas City March wheat declined 3½¢ to close at $8.80¾ a bu; March 2024 was steady and December 2024 edged higher. Minneapolis March wheat pared 1¼¢ to close at $9.24¾ a bu. March soybeans jumped 14¢ to close at $15.34¼ a bu. March soybean meal added $7.10 to close at $491.80 per ton. March soybean oil added 0.15¢ to close at 60.94¢ a lb; September 2023 and beyond were lower.
  • US equity markets were mixed, the Nasdaq jumping to a nearly-five-month high on resurgent tech stocks while the Dow industrials index slipped along with health care sector stocks. A day after the Federal Reserve announced its smallest interest rate increase of its nearly year-long campaign to slow inflation, some investors were of the mind the central bank could lower rates before the calendar flips to 2024. The Nasdaq received a boost from the FAANG stocks — Facebook parent Meta, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet. All were higher, with Alphabet and Amazon up more than 7%, Apple up more than 3%. Even Meta stock was higher a day after reporting a third consecutive quarter of declining sales after issuing an upbeat outlook for the year and saying it would buy back $40 billion in shares. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 39.02 points, or 0.1%, lower to 34,053.94. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 60.55, or 1.5%, to 4,179.76, the third consecutive day of gains for the broad-based index. The Nasdaq Composite rose 384.50 points on Thursday, or 3.3%, to 12,200.82, the best start to a year for the index since 1975.
  • US crude oil prices were lower for the fourth time in five sessions on Thursday. The March contract dropped 53¢ at $75.88 per barrel. 
  • The US dollar index pulled higher Thursday after a two-day downturn. 
  • US gold prices tugged further downward as the US dollar strengthened Thursday. The February future dropped $11.50 on Tuesday to settle at $1,916.30 per oz.

Recap for February 1

  • Soybean futures declined more than 1% Wednesday as traders focused on the growing harvest in Brazil — now about 5% completed — where some expected a record-large crop. Brokerage StoneX raised its forecast for the Brazilian harvest to a record-high 154.2 million tonnes, up from 153.79 million last month. Wheat futures were mostly higher, but the nearby Chicago contract sagged in profit taking, and European wheat prices fell on cheap values from Black Sea-region competition. Corn prices fell early but pulled higher by closing bells. March corn crept up 1¼¢ to close at $6.81 a bu. Chicago March wheat eased 1½¢ to close at $7.59¾ a bu, but later months were mostly higher in a narrow range. Kansas City March wheat added 5½¢ to close at $8.84¼ a bu with furthest 2024 contracts lower for a second session. Minneapolis March wheat gained 3¾¢ to close at $9.26 a bu. March soybeans dropped 17¾¢ to close at $15.20¼ a bu; only the May 2024 contract strengthened. March soybean meal added 50¢ to close at $484.70 per ton. March soybean oil fell 1.54¢ to close at 60.79¢ a lb.
  • US equity markets weakened in early trading but accelerated into the black after the Federal Reserve said it had approved raising interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point. Chairman Jerome Powell later acknowledged the interest rate increases had begun to pull inflation lower. Also, a Labor Department report indicated a seasonally adjusted 11 million jobs were available in December compared with a downwardly revised 10.4 million the prior month. Pressuring stocks was a report from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing’s employment report Wednesday, showing the US private sector added 106,000 jobs in January, fewer than economists expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 6.92 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34,092.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index initially fell after the Fed’s decision, but ultimately closed up 42.61 points, or 1%, at 4,119.21. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 231.77 points, or 2%, to 11,816.32.
  • US crude oil prices were lower for the third time in four sessions on Wednesday. The March contract dropped $2.46 at $76.41 per barrel. Prices began the day slightly lower as traders shrugged off news from a morning OPEC+ meeting in which the group confirmed it would leave policy unchanged. Losses accelerated on two signals from Energy Information Administration reports: bearish increases in US inventories of crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel and stockpiles at the US's main tank farm in Cushing, Okla.; and a concerning decline in implied diesel fuel demand to just 3.7 million barrels a day.
  • The downturn in the US dollar index extended to a second day on the heels of a three-day rally. 
  • US gold prices eased lower even as the US dollar weakened. The February future dropped $1.70 on Tuesday to settle at $1,927.80 per oz.