A surge higher in cattle helped to support strong gains in hogs overnight, although short-term cash fundamental news may not be as supportive. The market saw some early strength yesterday led by higher cash and product prices, strength in cattle and a positive outlook for outside markets with higher equity markets and a weaker US Dollar. However, the premium of futures to cash sparked a weaker tone for the hog futures into the mid-day. While some of the terminal locations were steady to $0.50 higher, news of a $1.94 set-back in the Iowa/Minnesota to $82.48 added to the negative tone of the market. The CME Lean Hog Index as of January 17th came in at 84.77, up 17 cents from the previous session and up from 83.79 the week before. The estimated hog slaughter came in at 424,000 head yesterday. This brings the total for the week so far to 1.648 million head, down from 1.698 million head last week at this time but up from 1.623 million head a year ago. Pork cutout values released after the close yesterday came in at $84.77, down 56 cents from Wednesday but up from $84.11 the previous week.