Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 486.18 points, or 6.4 percent, to close at 7,162.90 -- its lowest close since October 1982.
- The dollar bought 93 yen in Japanese trading.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 312.30, or 3.59 percent, to 8,378.95 -- its lowest close since April 25, 2003, and off 5.35 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 51.88, or 3.23 percent, to 1,552.03 -- down 9.31 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note lost 1 11/32 points, or $13.4375 for every $1,000 invested, to yield 3.697 percent. The two-year note's yield rose to 1.55 percent, just above the federal-funds target rate of 1.5 percent.
- The dollar was at 94.60 yen from 96.98 yen, while the euro was at $1.2585 from $1.2901 late Thursday.
||Previous day's action and
What happened the prior trading session...
- Corn: Futures closed mostly 16 to 17 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures continued to face pressure from growing economic worries.
- Wheat: Futures finished mostly around 6 to 8 cents lower at all three exchanges.
- Cotton: Futures posted very sharp losses Friday to extend the recent price plunge.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw a choppy week of price action in which futures posted slight overall gains for the week.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures plunged to new contract lows Friday to close with very sharp losses for the week.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Job Losses Buffet U.S. Early, Compounding the Downturn The labor market is now the worst it's been since the two prior recessions in 2001 and the early 1990s and the level of Americans unemployed for 27 weeks or more reached 2 million or 21% of those unemployed. That's near the 23% mark set in 2003 and 1992.
Sharp Slowdown in Asia Nears
- Financial Storm Hits Gulf Speculative Currency Trades Plunge Kuwait Into Bank Bailout With oil prices now down 50% from their peak, some Gulf countries have seen the financial crisis arrive in their markets. Kuwait has moved to guarantee bank deposits and bailed out one of its largest banks. However, the root of their situation may lie in currency trades, not bad loans. Many countries still are in surplus situations with current oil prices, but if values drop much further, their situation will worsen.
Refiners Look to Reduce Production as Falling Gas Prices Cut Into Profits
- Rescue Plan Chafes Small Banks Lobbying Assault Gears Up Over Worry About Taxpayer-Subsidized Consolidation Smaller banks are worried that bigger banks may be able to tap bailout funds and buy up smaller banks that lack the muscle to fight such moves.
Congress Weighs Forming Special Panel for Overhaul of Financial Regulations
China Backs Europe's Push for Oversight
IOU, Uncle Sam: Loans Start Today
- High-Tech Fish Farms Angle to Make Hard-to-Rear Cod the Next Salmon. The Atlantic Cod is the next fish that farmers will try to raise on fish farms, but unlike farmed salmon, it actually sells at a premium to wild-caught cod. This year, for the first time, humans will eat more farmed fish than wild fish, according to a report being prepared by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Craig Ferguson: "The Pentagon" is "buying a portrait of Donald Rumsfeld for paying $46,000." But it "will probably cost 10 times that, serve no real purpose, and never be finished. Remind you of anything?"
Craig Ferguson: "It wasn't such a great day for John McCain," who "got some support today" from an unwanted group. Al Qaeda "picked him as their choice" for president. Al Qaeda "made this announcement on their website, which begs the question, al Qaeda has a website? Can't we use it to find them?"
Craig Ferguson: "In this election, Obama is so far ahead now it seems the only way he can lose is if his supporters screw it up. But…Obama's supporters have a secret weakness. They're Democrats. They are perfectly capable of screwing this up. I'm not sure" if "Democrats remember how to win an election. They haven't won an election since 2000."
Craig Ferguson: "Anyway, the Democrats better watch out," because the "Republicans are going to pull out all the stops. Did you see they spent $150,000 on Sarah Palin's wardrobe?" Boy, nothing "says hockey mom like dropping six figures on bling."
Craig Ferguson: Sarah Palin's "defense was" that "$150,000 doesn't go far when you're a female political candidate, and that's true. Last year, Hillary Clinton spent twice that much on suits at Men's Warehouse."
Craig Ferguson: "The campaign says they needed to make Sarah Palin seem hip and cool," but "I'm thinking if you're going to spend money trying to make somebody look hip and cool, what about John? What about spending some money on John?"