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Debate and Financial Crisis Dominate News

00:00AM Oct 08, 2008
Snapshot of news and events for today


Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average plunged 952.58 points, or 9.4 percent, to 9,203.32 -- a five-year low and its biggest drop in 21 years.

  • The dollar sank as low as 99.58 yen but recovered to trade at 100.45 yen.

Tuesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 508.39, or 5.11 percent, to 9,447.11 -- its lowest lowest close since Sept. 30, 2003, and it has now lost 1,400 points in five trading days this month. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 108.08, or 5.80 percent, to 1,754.88.
  • The 2-year Treasury note fell 2/32 to 101 1/32 and yielded 1.47 percent, up from 1.43 percent late Monday. The 10-year note fell 13/32 to 104 1/32 and yielded 3.51 percent, up from 3.45 percent. The 30-year bond fell 1 4/32 to 107 31/32 and yielded 4.04 percent, up from 3.98 percent. 

  • The dollar traded at 101.27 yen from 101.61 yen while the euro was at $1.3619 from $1.3507 late Monday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures closed 7 to 15 1/2 cents lower on pressure from spreading with wheat along with economic concerns.
  • Soybeans: Futures traded higher for nearly the entire session and finished 2 to 4 cents higher.

  • Wheat: Futures finished 8 to 9 cents higher in Chicago, 4 to 5 cents higher in Kansas City and mostly 1 to 2 cents lower in Minneapolis.
  • Cotton: Futures posted a low-range close.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted slight to sharp gains today and finished anywhere from a low-range to high-range closes.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures opened higher, but trimmed gains and posted a low-range close in most contracts.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






Oct. 6

Grain Inspections (A)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Understanding Food Deserts (E)


Crop Production (N)
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (W)
Cotton Ginnings (N)
Dairy Products Prices (N)
Cotton: World Markets and Trade (F)
Grains: World Markets and Trade (F)
Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (F)
World Agricultural Production (F)
Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data (E)
Season-Average Price Forecasts (E)
Peanut Prices (N)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Fed Will Lend Directly to Corporations Fed to Lend Directly to Companies for First Time Since Great Depression, Hints at a Rate Cut; Stocks Fall as Dow Hits 5-Year Low Signals that a rate cut could be in the offing came Tuesday amid the Fed's action to lend directly to companies. The Fed is using Depression-era rules that do allow the Fed to lend to anyone under "unusual and exigent" circumstances. This marks the first time since an industrial-lending effort that started in the mid-1930s and lasted into the early 1940s. However, it could incur losses if corporate defaults rise.
    Related items:
    U.S. Rewrites Financial Playbook
    Congress Grills Former AIG Chiefs
    Losses on Bad U.S. Assets Could Top $1.4 Trillion
    Housing Pain Gauge: Nearly 1 in 6 Owners 'Under Water'
    States Call for Adoption of Mortgage-Loan Help
    Treasurys Tied to Inflation Gain Appeal
    We Won't Suffer a Japanese Deflation
    Op-ed item.

  • Slowing Export Machine Is Starting to Sputter. Exports have been a bright spot for the U.S. economy while other areas have struggled but now indications are that area, too, is headed for tougher times. Many U.S. firms are reporting scaled-back export-related demand.
  • UK Plans to Buy Into Large Banks in Bold Move The British government will buy into large banks as it seeks to address the spreading financial crisis. The plan would see the government offer to buy stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, Barclays PLC and soon-to-be-combined HBOS PLC and Lloyds TSB Group. The item notes it is in contrast to the U.S. action to take steps to remove toxic debt from the market.
    Related items:
    Iceland Seeks an Emergency Loan From Moscow
    Japan's Finance Minister Urges Quick U.S. Action
    Russia Promises More Cash to Its Banks
    Spain Sets Bank Bailout Fund
    Australia Cuts Its Key Rate

  • McCain, Obama Square Off Over How to Fix the Economy The item recaps the Nashville presidential debate, noting the two appeared to stay mostly away from personal attacks. Both portrayed their plans as being the best to help the middle class.
  • Restaurants Prep for Rules On Menu Data. Restaurants and food firms are gearing up for implementing the Labeling Education and Nutrition act which requires them to publish nutrition information about menu items.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

  • Prices putting crops in storage The decline in prices seen in recent weeks is prompting farmers to opt to store grain and cash sales at this point have mostly dried up.

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

  • State's agriculture outlook promising An economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Omaha told a Kansas audience that U.S. agriculture appears to have learned from the 1980s crisis and is in far better financial shape to weather the current storm.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

David Letterman: 10. "Let's practice your bewildered silence" 9. "Can you try saying 'Yes' instead of 'You betcha'?" 8. "Hey, I can see Mexico from here!" 7. "Maybe we'll get lucky and there won't be any questions about Iraq, taxes, or health care" 6. "We're screwed!" 5. "Can I just use that lipstick-pit bull thing again?" 4. "We have to wrap it up for the day -- McCain eats dinner at 4:30" 3. "Can we get Congress to bail us out of this debate?" 2. "John Edwards wants to know if you'd like some private tutoring in his van" 1. "Any way we can just get Tina Fey to do it?"