McCormick, Conagra Results Should Yield New Info On Food Demand -- Market Talk

1530 ET - Investors focused on food-company stocks amid the coronavirus pandemic will get fresh commentary tomorrow morning, with both spice-maker McCormick and Conagra Brands, the owner of Healthy Choice meals, Slim Jim snacks and other products, scheduled to report quarterly results. The key focus for many will be on what surging demand for food that consumers can make and eat at home means for each company. Both, however, are likely to take hits in their businesses supplying restaurants. General Mills said earlier this month it was running factories at near capacity as retailers in the US and Europe ordered more of its products. (; @MicahMaidenberg)


Hog Futures Halt Trading After Hitting Extended Limit Down -- Market Talk

13:50 ET - Hog futures on the CME have dropped 4.5 cents a pound, an extended limit from the usual 3c. Percentage-wise, it's a 7% drop for the day, leaving the futures contract at 59.75c. This makes it the third consecutive day that hog futures have fallen limit down, amid projections of high hog supply. This week's hog slaughter is projected at 493k head, roughly 20k hogs more than this time last year. (; @kirkmaltais)




Powdered Milk a New Favorite as Consumers Raid Nonperishables -- Market Talk

10:57 ET - Data from grocery stores demonstrate how non-perishable goods are driving higher sales during the Covid-19 pandemic. As shoppers prepare to hunker down for periods of social isolation, year-to-date sales of powdered milk products are 85% higher than in 2019, according to Kroll Bond Rating Agency, citing data from Nielsen Retail Measurement Services. Unglamorous staples such as dried beans and canned meat are also among the sales-growth leaders, surging 37% and 32% year over year, respectively. National grocers will also benefit from past experience navigating their supply chains through emergencies, KBRA says. Their success will come at the expense of restaurants, however, as establishments that have relied heavily on in-person dining are sure to see a dramatic falloff in revenue. (; @mattgrossman)


Yum Brands to Fund One-Time Bonuses for Restaurant Managers

Yum Brands Inc. will pay one-time bonuses to the general managers who run its restaurants, the latest example of a company providing additional pay for workers as the coronavirus damages the economy.

The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and the Habit Burger Grill brands said in a filing Monday that close to 1,200 managers at its restaurants will receive one-time bonuses of $1,000 "to acknowledge their efforts managing teams" and provide business continuity amid the pandemic. Managers at company owned stores will receive the payments.




Big Supplies Weigh Down Livestock Futures -- Market Talk

15:51 ET - Livestock futures on CME finished the day lower, with hog futures leading the way with a 7% decline to 59.775 cents a pound. Live cattle futures fall 0.4% to 89.075c. A large supply of both pork and beef in the US is the primary factor weighing down livestock futures today. "Bottom line is we have a lot of pork (and beef too) coming to the market and we need demand," Craig Turner of Daniels Trading says. "We have seen strong demand lately in the US but we also need export demand to help balance out the increase in supplies. With the world on lockdown it could take some time to ramp up exports again." (; @kirkmaltais)



This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today             Choice  111.0 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)     Select  108.8 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday fell $1.87 per hundred pounds, to $250.97, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $4.24 per hundred pounds, to $238.14. The total load count was 151. Wholesale pork prices fell $2.72, to $70.00 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 30, 2020 17:43 ET (21:43 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.