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3 Big Things Today, February 19

Money Managers More Positive Corn, Beans; Snow, Ice Expected From Large Storm.

1. Chicago Board of Trade Grain Markets Closed For Presidents Day Holiday

Grain markets on the Chicago Board of Trade are closed in observance of the Presidents Day holiday.

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2. Speculative Investors Cut Bearish Bets in Corn to Eight-Month Low, Bullish Beans

Money managers were the least bearish they’ve been in eight months and had the biggest net-long position, or bets on higher prices, since mid-December, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculators held 5,216 net-short positions in corn in the seven days that ended on February 13, the CFTC said in a report. That’s the smallest such position since June 13.

Investors were net long by 36,866 soybean contracts last week, government data show. The number marks the first bullish position since December 18.

Fund managers and other large speculative investors have been becoming more positive on soybeans, corn, and wheat in recent weeks as adverse weather in Argentina threatens crops in the South American country and the U.S. Southern Plains.

Money managers were net short by 46,973 soft red winter wheat contracts last week, down from 78,256 a week earlier, the CFTC said.

In hard red winter wheat, which is grown in the Southern Plains, speculators were net long by 13,488 contracts, little changed form a week ago when investors turned bullish on the grain for the first time since October.

The Weekly Commitment of Traders Report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows trader positions in futures markets.

The report provides positions held by commercial traders, or those using futures to hedge their physical assets; noncommercial traders, or money managers (also called large speculators); and nonreportables, or small speculators.

A net-long position indicates more traders are betting on higher prices, while a net-short position means more are betting futures will decline.

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3. Large Storm to Drop Snow, Ice From West Coast to Great Lakes Monday, Tuesday

A large storm is moving through much of the Upper Midwest today that will bring snow, ice, and cold weather, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm actually extends from the West Coast through the Great Lakes and is expected to drop heavy snow, the NWS said in a report early Monday morning.

In northwestern Nebraska and much of South Dakota, as much as 8 inches of snow are expected in the next two days, according to the NWS. Wind chills as low as -30˚F. are also expected.

Farther east, an ice storm warning has been issued for counties in southern Wisconsin.

“An extended period of freezing rain may lead to significant icing for areas along and north of a line from Baraboo to Portage to Fond du Lac,” the NWS said. “An ice storm warning is in effect for that area. Lower amounts of ice, but still hazardous, will occur just south of this area, but Madison to Milwaukee and south will see just rain.”

A winter weather advisory has been issued for much of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa where mixed precipitation will fall and ice will accumulate. Travel is not advised.

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