CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Chicago Board of Trade corn ended mixed, as nearby contracts were unable to hold modest gains at the end of a bearish week.

May corn lost 11 3/4 cents, or 3.3% on the week and ended down 1/2 cent Thursday, to $3.44 1/2 per bushel. July corn fell 1/2 cent to $3.56.

The market's bearish outlook got worse after Wednesday's U.S. Department of Agriculture quarterly grain stocks report, analysts say, and corn was unable to even maintain what an analyst said was an initial "dead-cat bounce." Prices were a couple cents higher much of the day.

The weather continues to be viewed as moderately bearish, as unseasonably warm temperatures, with wind, are a perfect recipe for drying out wet Midwest soils.

Farmers are getting fieldwork done that they recently thought "wouldn't be able to get done for a couple weeks," said Jim Riley, analyst with Linn Group.

However, there is still a long growing season ahead, and traders note that the forecast for the weekend and next week includes plenty of rain that should limit any attempts at planting. The limits the downside, Riley said.

"I think it will be difficult to get it going a lot lower until you get the planters rolling in the major growing areas," Riley said.

That said, there is little if any bullish sentiment in the market.

The corn market "has been one of the worst investments in the world the past three months," said Dave Marshall, independent broker and advisor in Southern Illinois. "You can't go down every day."

Riley said that any rallies will likely be seen as selling opportunities. It will take a shift in the weather pattern delaying planting to sustain a rally, analysts said.

The market fell despite a weaker dollar and stronger crude oil, which usually boost corn prices. The corn market will be closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

CBOT oats futures ended higher Thursday. May oats ended up 2 1/2 cents to $2.10 1/2 per bushel and July oats closed up 2 1/2 cents to $2.19 1/2. The May contract lost 1 1/2 cents on the week.

Ethanol futures were mostly lower. April ethanol closed down $0.025 to $1.522 per gallon and May ethanol settled flat at $1.560.


-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5778; ian.berry@dowjones.com