Renewed economic optimism is boosting most markets. Concern about the global economic & political situation and underlying demand has weighed on corn futures lately. However, yellow grain prices rallied in early trading as the energy and equity sectors led markets higher. Surging wheat futures likely contributed to the corn gains. March corn futures rallied 5.25 cents at $4.135/bushel Wednesday night, while July added 5.25 to $4.285.

The soy complex also posted a general overnight advance. As with corn, diminished concerns about the global outlook apparently encouraged traders in the soybean and product markets last night. Big crude oil gains, as well as rising palm quotes are boosting oil, while fresh indications of demand strength are apparently spurring bean and meal buying. January soybean futures climbed 7.5 cents to $10.345/bushel early Thursday morning, while January soyoil ran up 0.39 to 32.16 cents/pound, and January meal gained $3.1 to $362.4/ton.

Reduced Russian loadings are again encouraging wheat bulls. Early Thursday reports indicated that Russia’s new export rules had slowed rail ladings of wheat. As one would expect, that seeming confirmation of ideas that Russian sales will slow substantially encouraged a fresh round of buying at the U.S. exchanges. March CBOT wheat jumped 14.0 cents to $6.625/bushel in early Thursday action, while March KC wheat vaulted 13.5 cents to $6.95/bushel and March MWE wheat surged 13.75 to $6.735.

Bearish demand ideas kept depressing the cattle market Wednesday. Cattle traders clearly believe soaring prices have badly undercut beef demand, which in turn is badly undermining the cattle market. The latest losses probably mark a serious overreaction, but mixed to lower beef quotes at midday didn’t support the bullish cause. Expect fresh weakness today. February live cattle crashed 2.92 cents to 155.82 cents/pound as Wednesday’s pit session ended, while April futures plummeted 2.55 cents to 155.55. January and March feeder cattle futures once again collapsed the 3.00-cent daily limit to 216.60 and 212.25 cents/pound, respectively.

The hog and pork complex rebounded from limit-down levels. Big pork losses posted Tuesday afternoon caused CME hog futures to dive in concert with cattle prices on Wednesday’s opening. Suspicions that the Chicago losses were overdone, especially after calculations showed the CME index will drop rather modestly today, sparked a sizeable rebound from early lows, but unanimously weak midsession quotes renewed the downward pressure. Another poor opening is likely this morning. February hog futures dove 1.20 cents to 80.47 cents/pound in late Wednesday action, while June hogs fell 1.25 cents to 88.90.

Cotton futures backed away from technical resistance. Wednesday’s equity index rebound rather clearly powered the late-session cotton resurgence as well. Indeed, it would be easy to assume the overnight follow-through in equity index futures would also spur fresh fiber gains. That was not the case. One has to suspect the fact that nearby futures couldn’t top their 40-day moving averages has given bullish interests pause. March cotton futures slid 0.11 cents to 60.54 cents/pound shortly after dawn Thursday, while the July contract dipped 0.20 to 61.67.