What Traders are Talking About:
* Active corn planting expected this week. The insurance "go date" for corn planting has either arrived or comes this week across the Corn Belt. As a result, corn planters are expected to actively roll. But cold overnight lows may keep some producers from rushing to get corn seeded early this week. The National Weather Service has issued freeze watches/warnings across much of the Upper Midwest and portions of the eastern Corn Belt through Tuesday morning -- and those watches/warmings may be extended into Wednesday morning. A blast of cold Canadian air will drop into the northern U.S. and combined with clear skies and relatively low overnight winds is expected to produce sub-freezing temps in some areas.
The long and short of it: A killing freeze is not likely as overnight lows won't likely be low enough for long enough to do major damage, especially since the growing point for planted corn is still below ground. But the cold temps could singe some of the emerged corn.
* Chinese consumer prices rise more than expected. China's Consumer Price Index rose 3.6% compared to year-ago in March, besting the average guess of a 3.3% rise. Food prices were 7.5% higher than year-ago last month, while non-food prices rose 1.8%. Meanwhile, China's Producer Price Index declined 0.3% last month, which was slightly more than anticipated.
The long and short of it: The greater-than-expected rise in Chinese consumer prices last month puts expectations for further Chinese monetary policy easing on hold for now. But most expect the rise in consumer prices to ease in coming months and for China to stick with a pro-growth monetary policy longer-term.
* Jobs data disappoints. Last Friday's jobs data from the Labor Department showed the U.S. economy added 120,000 non-farm payrolls in March, well below the average guess of 203,000. Despite the disappointing payrolls number, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.2% from 8.3% the previous month. The Labor Department revised February non-farm payrolls to +240,000 (+227,000 previously) and January payrolls to +275,000 (+284,000 previously).
The long and short of it: The disappointing March jobs data is a stark reminder that while the U.S. economy is growing, the growth is still fragile. The Fed will stick with its accommodative monetary policy for now.
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