CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Chicago Mercantile Exchange hogs settled lower Friday on bearish fundamentals, futures' premiums to CME's hog index and sell stops.

Feeder cattle also ended lower. And, live cattle finished uneven. However, pork bellies closed up sharply.

Lean hogs opened the session in mixed fashion. Those who were recently long the market took profits while nervous bears covered previously held positions.

Hog contracts took a decidedly negative tone after sellers outnumbered buyers. Late-Thursday's pork cutout setback was cited as a bearish lean hog factor.

And, cash hog prices weakened as the otherwise lackluster session wore on.

"The hogs are dead today," a CME hog trader said earlier. "It's like watching paint dry."

Spot-December and nearby-February were also overbought based on their Relative Strength Index charts, which put prospective bulls on the defensive.

Meanwhile, the U.S. stock market's drop, Chicago Board of Trade corn's slide from morning highs and the U.S. dollar's upturn discouraged distant-month hog buyers.

Packers on Monday may test the waters with generally steady cash hog bids. While some processors are expected to draw from plentiful on-hand supplies, others may need to actively gather supplies for the coming week.

Hog traders on Monday will weigh December's disconnect to current fundamentals against technical aspects of the market.

December lean hogs on Friday closed above 100-day moving average support, but below 10-day moving average resistance.

December hogs ended 70 points lower at 53.02 cents a pound, and February finished down 27 points at 60.45 cents.

February pork bellies closed 247 points higher at 85.97 cents on follow-through buying after Thursday's futures surge. February ignited buy stops after the contract opened above 100-day moving average resistance.

Fresh belly's $2 per hundredweight midday price hike emboldened February buyers. And, Thursday's federal government cold storage report September belly stock's category was deemed neutral to slightly supportive for futures Friday.

Other belly contracts were unquoted.


Cattle Complex

October and December CME live cattle ended steady to firm on forward spreading fueled by bullish fundamentals. Other cattle months ended flat to weak on low-priced corn, U.S. stocks' stumble and the higher U.S. dollar.

Live cattle moved up at first, nudged by cash-basis cattle on Thursday that fetched up to $86.50 per hundredweight. Fed cattle this week prior to Thursday brought mostly $84.50, compared with the bulk of trades last week at $84.

Spot-October eclipsed Thursday's high aided by recent boxed beef price resilience and late-Thursday cattle deliveries that were snatched up by a willing taker.

Nearby-December easily surpassed Thursday's high and broke through 100-day moving average resistance on the way to a two-month top.

Nonetheless, late-day position squaring caused futures to ease from session highs after longs took profits. October and December buying interest faded as both contracts ventured further into overbought technical territory.

And while October continued to benefit from this week's surprisingly strong cash cattle performance, December returned below the 100-day moving average level, which tripped sell stops.

Market participants on Monday will look ahead to next week's cash sales as the number of trading days for the month of October dwindles. And, spot-October will come closer to its Oct. 30 expiration date, which could translate into possibly more deliveries.

October live cattle settled up 40 points at 86.35 cents a pound, and December closed up 2 points at 87.40 cents. February finished unch at 87.75 cents, and April ended down 10 points at 89.47 cents.

Feeder cattle closed lower on spot-October selling ahead of its Oct. 29 expiration date, live cattle's comedown from morning highs and sell stops.

Futures' bearish premiums to CME's feeder cattle index and January's overbought chart indicator were other bearish market matters.

And, spreaders sold November and bought October and January.

October feeder cattle settled down 20 points at 94.25 cents, and November closed 92 points lower at 95.47 cents.


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