Compared to last week, steers and heifers of all weights traded mostly steady to 5.00 higher.  Light weight calves bound for wheat pasture sold with very good demand after rains across the wheat belt improved grazing conditions.  Demand for unweaned, fleshy calves remains light to moderate, but as the weather finally turns, hard frost and cooler daytime temperatures will make it a little easier for cattle owners to straighten out their new purchases.  Primarily spring calves on offer throughout most major trading regions, but the yearlings that were available this week had no trouble finding new homes.  The cattle industry has finally shown some strength the past couple of weeks and the fact that most markets have held firm or tacked on a few dollars at a time lend some credibility to the modest rally, removing the emotionally driven volatile up and down moves we nearly expect these days.  There was no real knee jerk reaction in the cattle complex to Tuesday’s election, but that’s not to say that cattle owners didn’t initially suffer some fear and anxiety early Wednesday.  A sharp overnight selloff in the financials after Donald Trump’s surprise win was short lived though, and actually by the close on Thursday the Dow had found a new record high.  Markets and traders are unsure what the new President Elect and his policies will entail and it’s certainly too early to predict any repercussions in the beef industry.  Cattle futures traded sharply lower Monday but otherwise closed modestly higher during each trading session.  Fat cattle trade took a long time to develop this week.  A very few early week live sales, including the Online Fed Cattle Auction, rang in at 103.00-104.00, just a hair lower than last week, and most everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  By Thursday afternoon though, sellers were feeling pretty optimistic and asking prices were pushed higher.  Packers were known to need some cattle, not having a lot of captive supply for the month.  Cattle feeders and packers negotiated till nearly suppertime Friday evening before trading some volume at 103.00-105.00 Live with northern dressed sales at 162.00.  Many feel the market has finally found a comfortable trading range for the time being.  Retailers will continue to aggressively feature beef items as long as they are enjoying profitable margins as they are now, just as packers will continue to keep kills over 600k.  Auction volume this week included 38 percent over 600 lbs and 38 percent heifers.
Source: USDA-Mo. Dept. of Ag Market News Service, St. Joseph, Mo.