Early Call On Chicago

02/09/11 -- The overnight grains finished higher, although only partially regaining some of Thursday night's steep losses. Wheat ended up 6-8 cents and corn & beans mostly 4-5 cents firmer.

Based on the overnight closes Sep CBOT wheat is down 38 cents on the week so far, with corn down 18 1/4 cents and beans 15 cents higher.

Crude oil is more than a dollar lower after the US non-farm payrolls data showed zero jobs were added during August, contrary to expectations for 70-90,000 additions. This was apparently the first time that there were zero jobs added since Feb 1945. Hardly an economy booster that one is it?

In addition the June number was revised down from +46k to +20k and the July figure revised down from +117k to +85k.

Additional downside pressure for crude may come from ideas that Libya will be attempting to pump as much as it can before long.

Yesterday's US crop production numbers from FCStone could be viewed as either bullish or bearish, in a kind of half full or half empty sort of a way. Informa may enlighten us further later this afternoon.

Weather watchers are monitoring a major depression in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana with a projected track due north into central Louisiana, then curving east across southern Mississippi. Landfall is expected midnight Sunday as a tropical storm with winds of 60 miles per hour.

"Given the current forecast, heavy, soaking tropical rains would avoid the Midwest, soaking Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama," say Martell Crop Projections.

Meanwhile a cool front tracking west-to-east across the Midwest this weekend should "bring some useful rainfall to soybeans but just how much is the question. If the front moves quickly through the grain belt rainfall would be slight, but a slow moving front could bring 1.2 inches of rainfall. The atmosphere has grown humid and unstable in the Midwest giving rise to hopes for scattered heavy rains," they add.

The poor jobs data appears to have got the stock market rattled heading into the long weekend. There may be enough weather uncertainty around too to maybe generate a bit more long liquidation meaning that we close lower than the opening calls which are: corn up 4-5 cents, beans up 5-7 cents and wheat up 6-8 cents.