CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs could open generally weak Friday on selling leftover from futures' losses Thursday, said analysts and brokers.

Thursday evening's $1.00 per hundredweight pork cutout drop that snipped pork packer profit margins are added negative futures factors.

The Dow Jones pork packer margin index for Thursday's operations was plus $3.24, compared with plus $4.16 the previous day.

Flat-to-lower cash price calls and daily hog slaughters above 430,000 head might exert more market pressure.

And some bullish traders may be on the defensive before the U.S. Department of Agriculture quarterly hog report on Friday at 3 p.m. EDT. The following are analysts' estimated averages and ranges for the data's top three categories:

Average Range
All hogs and pigs on Sep 1 98.2 97.4-99.0
Kept for breeding 97.4 96.5-98.2
Kept for marketing 98.3 97.3-99.1
However, spot-October and nearby-December remain at bullish discounts to CME's hog index which might stir buying on possible market breaks. And, some short covering could surface before the weekend and in advance of USDA's hog data.

October 49.75-cents Sept. 22 low is a support area. The contract's 50.55 20-day moving average is an area of resistance.

December's 49.03 20-day moving average is a support level. The contract's 50.20 10-day moving average is a resistance obstacle.

CME bellies could open mixed.

Spillover from futures' weakness on Thursday and pre-report worries could encounter short covering and February's oversold Relative Strength Index condition.

February's 79.50-cents Sept. 2 high is a price support floor. The contract's 81.12 40-day moving average is a resistance ceiling.

Cattle Complex

CME live cattle could open mostly weak on follow-through after futures' withdrawal Thursday and somewhat dissappointing cash cattle price results, said analysts and brokers.

Cash-basis cattle moved at $82 to $84.50 per hundredweight, compared with $84 to mostly $84.50 last week.

Lax boxed beef values and skimpy beef packer profit margins are additional bearish market features.

The latest operating margin index for beef packers was plus $8.10 per head, compared with plus $13.20 the previous day, as calculated by HedgersEdge.com.

The U.S. government's Thursday evening boxed beef item showed choice items slid $0.55 per hundredweight, and select cuts dropped $0.82.

By the same token, potential pre-weekend short covering and spot-October and nearby-December mildly oversold chart conditions are considered bullish market factors.

October 86.00-cents Sept. 18 high is a price support spot. The contract's 86.26 10-day and 86.58 20-day moving averages are resistance marks.

December's 85.00 Thursday low serves as a price support area. The contract's 85.72 10-day moving average is a resistance barrier.

Most feeder cattle months may begin the session in slightly bearish territory on carryover from Thursday's futures declines and several months' slightly bearish premiums to CME's feeder cattle index.

However, possible short covering and November's oversold technical indicator could limit potential losses or land some months on positive ground.

The October contract on Friday will spend its first full day as the spot month after September expired Thursday.

October's 96.75-cents Sept. 2 low is a price support floor. The contract's 97.25 Sept. 21 and Aug. 31 97.75 highs are price resistance thresholds.

November's Sept. 22 97.00 high serves as an area of price support. The contract's 97.50 Sept. 2 97.50 low is a price resistance area.

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


-By Theopolis Waters; Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5778; theopolis.waters@dowjones.com