Grains red in risk-off trading
***** Corn futures fractionally firmer; soybeans down a nickel; Chicago wheat off 7 to 8 cents. *****

#Corn futures make a minor rebound overnight but wheat and beans continue lower. Uncertainty over China and renewed trade tensions with Europe keep the bulls at bay. Technical sellers have the edge as market participants wait for further fundamental guidance. This weeks USDA Outlook Forum meeting will help provide direction while we wait for word on China.
#USDA officials will gather with professionals from around the ag industry to hold their annual Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia this week. The government analysts will release crop projections used for budget planning, including an early look at acreage expectations and preliminary estimates for future demand.
#U.S./China trade talks resumed this week with negotiators convening in Washington DC. There are eight days left before the March 1st deadline originally agreed to by Presidents Trump and Xi when they met in December. President Trump has indicated that he doesnt expect to be able to meet with Xi again before the end of the month, but also says that the deadline could be extended if current trade talks go well.
#The trade war could shift fronts if President Trump wraps up China dealings and then turns his focus to Europe. President Trump is weighing whether to place tariffs on European auto imports (mostly from Germany) on the grounds on national security concerns. The U.S. and European Union are already squabbling over steel and aluminum tariffs that were levied by the U.S. last year. Europe still has retaliatory tariffs open against U.S. goods.
#March corn futures are off their overnight highs and struggling to hold above their daily pivot. The 10-day moving average at $3.75 provides a first point of resistance while Tuesdays $3.69 lends potential support. The momentum studies like the MACD are pointing lower, but a look at on balance volume shows a possible lack of conviction in recent selling.
#March soybeans are less than a couple cents away from a test of Tuesdays $8.94 3/4 daily bottom. The contract lost key psychological support from $9.00 and also trades behind its 100-dy moving average at $9.02 1/4. Soybean bears eye the December low at $8.80 1/2 while the bulls might turn interested now that futures have poked below their lower Bollinger Band to suggest short-run oversold conditions.
#Snowfall totals are so far mostly falling short of expectations, but Winter Storm Petra is still slowing travel across the upper Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions. The two-week outlook stays cold but dries out some for most across the Corn Belt.
#Investors will have a look at minutes form the Federal Reserve Banks January FOMC meeting today. The documents language will be sorted through in an effort to determine how central bankers will manage the economys interest rate trajectory over the next several months.

***** Cattle futures look to open steady/weaker; hogs try rebounding higher after a limit-down day. *****

#Cattle traders await Fridays Cattle on Feed report after the last one was missed due to the government shutdown. Until then, cattle futures may keep general support from firm cash markets. Cash cattle have been getting a boost from winter weather influences. Slaughters have recently slowed by more than 15 percent over last years pace and this weeks winter storm may cause further disruption to marketing activity.
#Hog futures are trading with outsized influence from technical considerations as market participants wait for better fundamental guidance. A clearer look at the supply landscape will be provided by Fridays Cold Storage report.