December and February cattle closed up the 300 point limit yesterday, as many traders saw aggressive buying and short-covering support the market. A stronger beef market to start out the week and ideas of tightening supply during the weeks ahead were thought to have supported the market. October cattle closed sharply higher and close to the 300 point limit yesterday. The Cattle-on-Feed report was a bullish surprise on Friday afternoon, and strength in the stock market and other commodity markets also encouraged active buying. Most traders expected the USDA to show cattle placements in August to be higher than year-ago levels for the 11th month in a row, but the report indicated lower placements and the market quickly reacted by moving towards higher price levels. Many traders now see a tighter supplies just ahead, while outside market forces have turned positive with stronger equity markets and a rally in other commodity markets. There are concerns that producers in the southern plains liquidated more animals than previously believed during the spring and early summer, leaving less inventory. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 129,000 head yesterday. This was down from 131,000 head last week but unchanged from a year ago as this time. Boxed beef cutout values were up $1.22 at mid-session yesterday and closed 86 cents higher at $184.17. This was down from $185.29 the prior week.