Mad cow case drives the market crazy
In one day, April 24, an announcement about one confirmed case of mad cow disease in California had various markets soaring and falling in unison. The disease in the dairy cow was the first new case since 2006 and only the fourth reported case in the United States.
Pilgrim’s Pride shares shot up 50 cents to $7.15, a 7.5 percent spike that ranked it among the day’s 10 biggest percentage gainers on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, live cattle futures posted their largest decline in several months, though they rebounded the next day.
Brazilian meat packer JBS, the majority shareholder of Greeley-based Pilgrim’s, scrambled to assure investors that there was no need to panic. The company reiterated claims from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that one mad cow would not spoil the herd.
And if the market reacted more than expected, JBS pointed out that it still has a great hand.
“JBS is the second largest chicken producer globally and has relevant pork production in the U.S., businesses which would benefit from any spillover,” the company said in a statement.
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