TOP STORIES

 

The McRib Is Back; Take That, 2020 -- Market Talk

10:17 ET - The coronavirus pandemic has made 2020 a year of cancellations, but it couldn't put the kibosh on the return of the legendary McRib sandwich at McDonald's. In fact, the fast-food chain says it's bringing the barbecue sandwich back nationwide on Dec. 2 for the first time since 2012. McDonald's introduced the McRib in the early 1980's but removed it from the menu in 1985 and has since brought it back for limited-time runs. The chain recently hinted on Twitter that a McRib return could be in the offing. (colin.kellaher@wsj.com)

 

Ruth's Up On Better-Than-Expected 3Q Results -- Market Talk

09:25 ET - Ruth's Hospitality Group up 5% in pre-market trading after the steakhouse chain beat 3Q expectations, though earnings and sales comparisons remain below last year. The chain reports a 15 cents a share loss, which included costs for severance payouts, closed restaurants and lease modifications. Same-store sales at company restaurants decline 36.7%, better than expectations of a 43.5% drop compared to last year. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Restaurant Business Stays in Contraction -- Market Talk

13:42 ET - According to monthly data from the National Restaurant Association, the US food-service industry is still in retraction, even as the US economy attempts to reopen amid resurgent coronavirus cases. In particular, customer foot traffic is in deep contraction, according to the association. "Rising COVID cases in much of the country and the drumbeat of headlines that suggest eating out is a risky activity may continue to limit customer traffic through the winter months," Steiner Consulting says. A continued contraction of the food service industry is negative news for domestic agricultural demand in the US, particularly for livestock like cattle and hogs, with a majority of beef and pork consumption in the US coming from the food-service segment. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

Farmers Continue to Back Trump, Survey Shows -- Market Talk

1003 ET - Farmers' strong support for President Trump hasn't been moved by the debates, the Supreme Court nomination battle, his coronavirus diagnosis or much else, according to a Farm Journal survey. The agriculture publisher's latest survey of 1,311 farmers, conducted this week, finds 85% of respondents planning to vote for Mr. Trump, the same number as the prior Farm Journal survey in early September. Despite financial pain from the Trump administration's trade wars, farmers have said they trust Mr. Trump to keep their taxes low and further ease regulations. Mr. Biden received 11%, down one point from the early-June Farm Journal survey. (jacob.bunge@wsj.com; @jacobbunge)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Coronavirus Sends Hog Futures Lower -- Market Talk

14:52 ET - The resurgent spread of coronavirus -- with daily cases in the US hitting exceeding 88,500 new cases, a new record high -- was a factor pushing hog futures on the CME down Friday. "At the current time there is absolute panic concerning the Coronavirus spreading worldwide therefore curbing demand for many commodities," says Michael Seery of Seery Futures. "The volatility remains exceptionally high as I don't think that situation is going to change anytime soon as seasonably speaking the winter months for livestock can experience tremendous price swings." The most-active lean hog contract finished trading down 0.1% to 65.575 cents per pound, while live cattle futures rose 0.3% to $1.083 per pound. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Oct 30 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Oct 30       +$ 40.18            +$ 51.54 
Oct 29       +$ 48.35            +$ 59.60 
Oct 28       +$ 40.42            +$ 52.70 
 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of production of the animals. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice   89.6 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   92.6 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Friday rose 78 cents per hundred pounds, to $208.10, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose 1 cent per hundred pounds, to $191.24. The total load count was 106. Wholesale pork prices fell $3.75, to $83.04 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2020 17:31 ET (21:31 GMT)

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