Corn futures are expected to open 1 to 2 cents lower Tuesday morning but the call is less clear than usual this morning because there was no overnight trading session due to Christmas. We look for a defensive opening with light speculative long liquidation likely in the wake of last week's strong gains. Crop conditions in Argentina are mostly favorable. However, the market is technically quite strong with solid support expected on setbacks.

Soybean futures are also called steady to 2 cents higher. As is the case with corn, direction is a little tougher to call in the absence of overnight trading. Favorable South American weather remains the dominant negative factor. However, the market posted a solid upturn Friday to turn the near term chart picture positive. Palm oil prices are climbing in response to flooding in Indonesia.

Wheat futures are expected to open 1 to 2 cents lower. The market is vulnerable to a setback after climbing strongly higher last Thursday and Friday. Wheat futures were able to shrug off the bearish impact of last week's favorable moisture in the Plains. However, the technically driven rally may have been a bit overdone. Slow demand and the prospect of year-end speculative long liquidation are negative factors.

Cattle futures are called 10 to 20 points lower Tuesday morning. Even though the Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon was slightly positive, the cash fundamentals don't appear strong enough to support a higher opening. Cutout values dipped Friday afternoon and the choice cutout lost more than $4 last week. Cash trade was light last week, increasing the pressure on cattle owners to move some cattle to avoid a large carryover into the new year.

Lean hog futures are called 15 to 25 points higher Tuesday morning. Cash hogs are expected to be firm to a dollar higher to start the holiday shortened week. Pork cutout values were 28 cents higher Friday afternoon. Futures should attract technical buying after posting solid closing gains Friday. USDA will release the quarterly Hogs and Pigs report Wednesday afternoon of this week.