CHICAGO (Dow Jones)-Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs could open mixed Tuesday as traders continue to struggle to find solid market direction, according to analysts and brokers.

Late-Monday's $0.22 per hundredweight pork cutout bump and slipping but still profitable pork packer profit margins are positive lean hog factors.

The Dow Jones packer margin index for Monday's operations was plus $6.70, compared with plus $8.80 the previous day.

However, current market fundamentals may have negligible impact on spot-December whose expiration is two months away. Plus, December and February are overbought based on their Relative Strength Index charts.

And, front-month hogs' bearish premiums to CME's hog index may discourage those interested in buying those contracts.

Bulls and bears alike may be at the mercy of technical factors until concise fundamental leadership emerges.

December's 53.15-cents 10-day and 53.08 100-day moving averages serve as technical support levels. The contract's 54.75 Oct. 15 high is a price resistance target.

February's 60.50 Monday low is an area of price support. The contract's 61.60 July 23 low is a price resistance barrier.

February has a chart gap between 61.27 July 24 high and 61.60 July 23 low.

Pork bellies could open mixed as traders work positions before CME's weekly belly storage report that will be released on Tuesday after 5 p.m. EDT.

February bellies on Monday closed par with its 81.95-cents 20-day moving average. The contract's 81.50 Sept. 23 high is also a point of price support.

February's 82.12 40-day and 82.88 10-day moving averages are resistance thresholds.

Cattle Complex

A mostly weak CME live cattle open is possible on potential profit-taking by those who were recently long the market and cash cattle price uncertainty, said analyst and brokers.

Packers last week paid mostly $83 to $84 per hundredweight for cash-basis cattle versus $79 to $82 the previous week.

The CME late Monday reported 74 new live cattle deliveries against the October live cattle contract that will expire on Oct. 30. There is some concern about Monday's deliveries because they were not all taken by people who are willing to keep them.

October and December live cattle are technically overbought.

And, flat electronic-Chicago Board of Trade corn might dampen far-month live cattle buying interest.

By the same token, optimism about this week's potential cash cattle price outcome due to recent boxed beef price gains and rising beef packer margins might stir front-month futures buying into potential breaks.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Monday evening boxed beef data showed an $0.90 per hundredweight choice cuts increase. Select items were up $0.12.

The latest operating margin index for beef packers was plus $13.10 per head, compared with plus $7.75 the previous day, as calculated by HedgersEdge.com.

October's 84.01-cents 20-day moving average is a support floor. The contract's 85.47 40-day moving average is a chart resistance obstruction.

December's 85.93 40-day moving average is a level of support. The contract's 87.20 Sept. 16 high is a price resistance obstacle.

Feeder cattle may start the session down slightly on possible profit-taking after front-month contracts gained Monday and futures' bearish premiums to CME's feeder cattle index that dropped Monday.

Potential spillover live cattle pressure and spot-October selling before its Oct. 29 expiration are more negative market features.

However, steady-to-higher cash feeder cattle quotes and soft overnight-CBOT corn might provide down-side futures support.

October's 94.75-cents Friday high is a price support point. The contract's 94.88 20-day moving average is a chart resistance mark.

November's 95.02 20-day moving average is a support level. The contract's 96.25 Jan. 22 low is a price resistance obstacle.

(To access the daily livestock market data recap report, keyword search for "Livestock Market Fundamental Data Recap.")


-By Theopolis Waters; Dow Jones Newswires; 312-559-4965; theopolis.waters@dowjones.com