The cattle market traded higher early in the session, finding support from news of higher cash cattle trades late yesterday and from ideas that the US economy may not be as bad off as previously feared. News of higher cash market trades in Nebraska yesterday plus a more positive tilt to the economy, or at least lower fears of a double-dip recession, were thought to have provided solid underlying support. Packer demand was stronger than expected this week as cash cattle traded at $190.00-$191.00 in Nebraska, steady to higher from last week's levels. A surge higher in the US stock market along with weakness in the US Dollar added to the positive tone yesterday and global equity strength overnight could provide a positive demand tone for cattle during today's trading. The estimated cattle slaughter came in at 131,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 391,000 head, up from 389,000 head last week at this time and up from 386,000 head a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were up 44 cents at mid-session yesterday and closed 50 cents higher at $184.24. This was up from $183.00 the prior week and is the highest beef trade since September 22nd.
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