Corn futures settled higher Wednesday. Prices were supported by strength in the stock market and crude oil. The weaker dollar was positive news for exports, which have been slow. Gains were limited by expectations for bearish news in Thursday's Supply/Demand report. Analysts are anticipating U.S. supply will be increased due to weaker demand, which will raise ending stocks. March was 14 1/4 cents higher at $3.42 and July was 14 1/4 cents higher at $3.52 3/4.



Soybean futures finished higher Wednesday. Support came from outside markets, with the financial sector and crude oil up and the dollar down. Expectations for a small cut in ending stocks in tomorrow's Supply/Demand report from the November estimate of 205 million bushels helped push prices higher. Gains were limited by favorable rains in Brazil. January was 16 1/2 cents higher at $8.29 1/2 and March was 16 1/2 cents higher at $8.34 3/4.



Wheat futures closed higher Wednesday. Strength in corn and soybeans as well as the stock market helped push wheat prices higher. Quality downgrades in Australia due to wet weather was also supportive. Traders were positioning ahead of the Supply/Demand report in anticipation of a reduction in ending stocks from the 603 million bushel estimate last month. CBOT March was 20 cents higher at $5.09 1/2, KCBT March was 17 1/4 cents higher at $5.32 1/4 and MGE March was 21 cents higher at $5.89 1/2.



Cattle futures finished higher Wednesday. Strength in the stock market pulled cattle futures, triggering buy stops on the way up. Technically oversold conditions supported the bounce in prices. Cash cattle prices are expected to move higher later this week, and both choice and select cutouts improved. February was $1.53 higher at $83.80 and April was $1.30 higher at $85.48.



Lean hog futures closed lower Wednesday. The premium of futures to cash weighed on prices. Losses were limited by strength in outside markets. Cash trade is steady this week, with buyers already booking needs for next week. Futures are also being pressured by fears of a seasonal downturn in the cash market. February was $1.00 lower at $63.13 and April was 55 cents lower at $68.60.