CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Chicago Board of Trade corn futures ended mixed Monday, with nearby contracts climbing and back months slipping slightly.

September corn, which is in delivery, ended up 5 1/4 cents to $3.26 1/4 per bushel, December corn ended up 3/4 cent to $3.29 3/4 and March 2010 corn was down 1/4 cent to $3.42 1/2

The market fell on the open but bounced back and was firm throughout much of the day.

"There are some thoughts, watching it the last few days, that maybe we're getting a little oversold," said Jason Britt, president of Central State Commodities.

He added that the lack of any deliveries against the September contract on first notice day might have lent support. Funds bought an estimated 2,000 contracts.

Some traders and analysts expect the market to continue moving sideways until a clearer picture of the crop emerges. A large crop is widely expected, but the trade is eyeing weather forecasts daily for any signs of an early frost that could cut short development. That, along with the crop's slow maturity, is underpinning prices, traders say.

"This market is showing that you can wait to sell on rallies," a trader says.

Outside markets were bearish Monday, with pressure from crude oil, equities and soybeans. The lack of a frost threat also weighed.

A trader said that corn's rebound Monday was preceded by wheat's rebound. Britt said there was also unwinding of the corn-soybean spread.

Trade expectations of Monday's crop progress report were mixed. Some were expecting a small drop in the portion of the crop rated good-to-excellent and some were expecting a small increase in the rating. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release the report at 4 p.m. EDT.

Deliveries are expected to remain light as basis remains strong and farmers hold onto supplies, a trader said. However, in the bigger picture corn supplies are ample, he added.

CBOT oats futures settled unchanged. September oats closed at $2.10 3/4 per bushel and December oats ended at $2.25.

Ethanol futures ended slightly lower. September ethanol ended down $0.001 to $1.611 per gallon and November ethanol ended down $0.013 to $1.

-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5778; ian.berry@dowjones.com