Cattle futures prices rallied strongly Friday with the nearby live cattle contract advancing the 1 1/2 cents-a-pound limit for daily trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
On other markets, grains and soybeans were higher, energy futures were lower.
The cattle market sold off early in the session on follow-through action from Thursday's weak close.
"But by mid-session the downside correction had probably exhausted itself," said Philip Stanley, an analyst with Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc.
"Prices closed into new high ground; it was a real active session," he said.
Large-scale buying by commercial interests who were covering earlier sales marked the really, said Stanley.
"It was mostly an emotional rally, it caught many traders completely by surprise."
The market also may have gotten some help form the belief that wholesale beef prices have bottomed out, Stanley said.
Hog and belly futures struggled through the session but closed higher on strength borrowed from the cattle pit.