What Traders are Talking About:
* Europe remains in focus. Italy has agreed to a 30-billion-euro austerity plan. Two-thirds of the package will go toward balancing the budget by 2013 and one-third will be for stimulating growth over the next three years. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting today in hopes of reaching common ground on steps needed to solve the euro-zone debt crisis ahead of the EU summit on Friday. The European Central Bank is also widely expected to cut interest rates Thursday for the second time in two months.
The long and short of it: There continue to be a lot of moving parts in Europe which is driving investor uncertainty, although investors are seemingly a little more upbeat on the situation.
* Traders watching drying trend in Brazil. The Brazilian growing season is off to a strong start as early season rains were plentiful through mid-November. But a hotter/drier pattern has developed over the past several weeks, especially in southern growing regions. With La Nina conditions present, traders are watching closely to see if there are indications the weather pattern is shifting.
The long and short of it: Growing conditions remain generally favorable, but the recent shift to hotter and drier conditions bears watching.
* USDA S&D Report out Friday. USDA will release updated Supply & Demand (S&D) tables Friday morning. Aside from cotton, however, there won't be fresh production updates this month. Any changes for corn, soybeans and wheat will come on the demand side of the balance sheet.
The long and short of it: The December S&D Report is typically a relative yawner as it primarily consists of just minor tweaking to usage projections.
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