August cattle closed 40 higher on the session Friday, and reached the highest price since May 22nd. Cattle futures ended with a gain 122 points for the week, as higher trading in the cash market and ideas that retail clearance could be good again this past weekend were seen as supportive factors. A recovery in the stock market after early weakness also was seen as a positive for cattle futures. While cash markets traded $1.00 higher on the week, many traders remain concerned that the beef market could turn lower over the near-term. The set-back in beef on Friday afternoon was led by weakness in the select cuts. Boxed beef cutout values were down 16 cents at mid-session Friday and closed 48 cents lower at $196.94. This was down from $197.25 the prior week and is the lowest beef since June 5th. Select beef prices were down $1.66 to $182.65 from $185.36 last week. Slaughter came in lower than expected at 122,000 head Friday and 23,000 head for Saturday. This brought the total for last week to 652,000 head, up from 596,000 head the previous week but down from 681,000 head a year ago. Average dressed steer weights for the week ending May 26th came in at 839 pounds, down from 841 the previous week but up from 819 pounds last year and up from the 5-year average of 814 pounds. Beef production for the same week came in at 498.8 million pounds, down 0.30% over year ago. The higher than normal weight is keeping production higher than expected. While beef production was down 0.30%, slaughter for the same week was down 3.25%.