April cattle closed sharply higher for the session yesterday, but finished 115 points below the mid-session highs. April cattle was near unchanged early but a surge higher in the hog market and increased concerns for the blizzard impact of cattle performance were thought to have helped the market to move up to a nine-session peak. The large premium of futures to the cash market was seen as helping the market trade below the mid-session highs. Ideas that the weather could cause a significant drop in average slaughter weights during the week ahead as well as causing an increase in death loss was seen as supporting the market. Trading was relatively quiet overnight, with many traders waiting for indications for the cash market as well as how much packers are willing to bid up for their supplies this week. April futures are current holding a $9.00 premium to the cash market, while the 5-year average premium has been about $2.00 to $3.00. Heavy snows, high winds and below-zero wind chills are expected to impact performance in the southern plains. The cattle inventory report showed the smallest herd in 53 years, which was seen as matching expectations. February cattle traded as high as 109.15 early in the day, which suggested to some traders that cash cattle is expected to trade higher this week from the $105.00 level last week. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 123,000 head yesterday. This was down from 126,000 head last week and down from 124,000 head a year ago as this time. Boxed beef cutout values were up 46 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 22 cents higher at $173.07. This was down from $173.42 the prior week.