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From Daily Futures:

U.S. Economy
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 27 states reported higher unemployment rates in August. 16 states had lower unemployment rates and 7 were unchanged. California’s unemployment rate hit a record high 12.2% in August, one of 14 states in double-digits. The December 2010 eurodollars fell .095 to 98.13, the lowest close in two weeks.

Grains and Cotton
The soybeans keep flowing to China. The USDA said today that China bought 182,000 tons of U.S. soybeans. November soybeans were down 12 cents at $9.41.

December corn closed down 11 cents at $3.18 while concerns about colder weather in next week’s forecast are fading.

Cotton fields in the southeastern U.S. continue to get hit with rain – not what growers want to see at this time of year. December cotton finished up .42 at 64.60.

November lumber closed up $3.50 at $185.50, helped by steady improvement in the housing data. Yesterday, housing starts hit a nine-month high and on Wednesday, an index of homebuilder sentiment reached its highest level in over a year.

October hogs dropped 1.37 to 50.80, blamed on fund selling in what has been a bad year for pork demand.

After the close, the USDA said that there were 9.882 million head of cattle on feed as of September 1st, down 1.2% from a year ago and a little more than expected. August placements were up 2.4% from a year ago while marketings were down 3.9%. October cattle ended down .22 at 85.55.

After the close, the USDA estimated this week’s beef production at 507.6 million pounds, down 5.6% from a year ago. Pork production was estimated at 462.9 million pounds, up .2% from a year ago.

Orange juice
November orange juice gained a penny to $1.0365, the highest close in over four weeks, with traders expecting the upcoming Florida crop to be smaller than last year’s. The USDA will release its first estimate on October 9th.

After the close, the USDA and the Florida Ag Department said that there were 492,529 acres of commercial orange trees in Florida, down 1% from a year ago and the lowest total since 1986.

December copper dropped 11.1 cents to $2.785, the lowest close in four weeks, possibly hurt by altitude sickness and today’s stronger dollar. London inventories of copper were up 3,325 tons today to 327,700 tons.

Statistics Canada said that wholesale sales were up 2.8% in July to C$41.7 billion, stronger than expected and the second consecutive gain. The December Canadian dollar fell .45 to 93.49.

Source: Daily Futures