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Financial, Bank Situation Still in Focus

00:00AM Oct 20, 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 closed up 3.6 percent at 9,005.59. 

  • The dollar traded at 102.24, up about 0.48 yen.

Friday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 127.04 points at the closing bell, off 1.4 percent, at 8,852.22 -- but up 4.8 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.4 percent Friday, ending at 1,711.29 -- but was up 3.7 percent for the week
  • The 10-year Treasury note rose 2/32, pushing the yield to 3.961 percent. The 30-year bond fell 1-15/32 to yield 4.314 percent.

  • The dollar rose to 101.65 yen, down from 101.41 yen, while the euro fell to $1.3407, down from $1.3469.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures posted strong short-covering gains Friday, but still ended the week below last week's levels and did more technical chart damage.
  • Soybeans: Futures posted strong corrective gains Friday to trim the amount of losses for the week.

  • Wheat: Futures closed out the week with corrective gains.
  • Cotton: Futures posted sharp to limit gains Friday to finish slightly higher than last week's closing level.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 32 cents to $2.30 higher, with gains most pronounced in far-deferred contracts.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures posted sharp gains today amid short-covering and help from outside market, but futures remain in the downtrend.

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. 20

Grain Inspections (A)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Chickens and Eggs (N)
Catfish Processing


Broiler Hatchery (N)
Feed Grains Database (E)
Cold Storage (N)
Wheat Data (F)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Vegetables and Melons Outlook (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Cotton Ginnings (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (N)
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)

  • China to Create Market for Land Rights In Effort to Boost Farmers' Prosperity The Chinese government has issued details of a plan regarding farmland that would liberalize the exchange of land although it still does not allow for the ownership of farmland by farmers. Still, Chinese officials are hopeful this shift relative to farmland will prompt a resurgence of the nation's agricultural sector.
  • Europeans Step Up Bank Bailout The Netherlands put together a bank rescue plan along with Germany in a couple of cases where most thought no action was needed.
    Related items:
    Against the Odds, Financial Crisis Helps Stimulate the Dollar
    Companies Get a Close Look for Signs of Crisis Fallout
    Seoul Will Bolster Banks With Loan Guarantee
    EU Banks Get Leeway on Making Write-Downs

  • Pollution Credits Let Dumps Double Dip Landfills Find New Revenue in Trading System Meant to Curb Greenhouse Emissions Some landfills capturing methane to sell also qualify for carbon credits and that has improved their bottom lines. But others say the goal of carbon credits was to foster new actions to curb greenhouse gasses, not merely pay for what's already being done.
  • Obama Is Wrong About Colombia The article notes that the remark by Sen. Obama on the number of union representatives targeted for murder in Colombia isn't quite correct based on the most recent situation.
  • Nafta-Plus Canada looks to Europe in anticipation of Obama protectionism. Review & Outlook item. Canada is looking to Europe for a free trade deal which the paper says is in reaction to statements by Sen. Obama that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA.
  • GM Lacks Investors to Fund Deal With Chrysler. The potential deal between GM and Chrysler may not move too much further as GM is having difficulty locating investors to take part in the deal.
    Related item:
    Michigan Sweats GM-Chrysler Talks

  • Winds Shift for Renewable Energy As Oil Price Sinks, Money Gets Tight. Some green energy firms are finding it difficult now to line up long-term financing as credit has tightened and oil prices have fallen back dramatically from their highs.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Obama Endorsed By Colin Powell Democrat Wins Praise From Prominent Republican, Announces Record $150 Million Fundraising Month Powell said he thinks that Sen. Obama is in better position to lead the country compared to Sen. McCain. But others also think his position may be linked to trying to shore up his own image.
  • As Fuel Prices Fall, Will Push For Alternatives Lose Steam? As oil prices have retreated some are questioning whether this will lessen the drive to find alternative energy sources or improving things like electric/hybrid vehicles. Others note the current credit crisis is also making financing of alternative fuel efforts less certain.
  • Unregulated Market Faces Test as Corporate Defaults Pile Up Banks, investors and companies are said to be unwinding non-regulated market tools and it remains to be seen what the impact of these steps will now have on the nation's financial system.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "And of course, people in Hollywood” do not "know how to deal with fires, especially celebrities,” because "when Hollywood celebrities see a burning bush, they rush towards it,” thinking "Barack Obama's about to speak.”

Jay Leno: "And Barack Obama continues to lead in the polls. Barack said today if it wasn't for Fox News, he might be up two or three more points in the polls. So apparently, five of the six news channels openly rooting for him isn't enough.”

Jay Leno: "Vice President Dick Cheney was treated, today, for an irregular heartbeat. His doctors aren't sure what caused it. They figured it was either stress or the sudden drop in oil prices.”

Jay Leno: "Well, doctors now say drinking alcohol shrinks your brain. … Their proof -- the last eight years of the White House.”

David Letterman: "I watched the debate, and, honestly, there was no question…who looked more presidential. Bob Schieffer.”

David Letterman: "Did you notice how energetic and aggressive John McCain was during the debate? I mean, I think somebody added Red Bull to his Mylanta.”

Conan O'Brien: "Earlier this evening, the third presidential debate was held. … Hillary Clinton was sitting in the audience. Did you know that? Yeah. Yeah, in fact, when John McCain was attacking Barack Obama, you could hear Hillary yelling, ‘Get him!'”

Conan O'Brien: "Sarah Palin had her motorcade stop at a Wal-Mart so she could buy a bag of diapers. … Palin said she wouldn't have made the stop for diapers, but John McCain's completely out.”

Jimmy Kimmel: "Anheuser-Busch, the beer company, underwrote” the debate. They "paid for everything, which is a little…odd because Cindy McCain owns” an "Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in Arizona. … I don't know much about running for president, but it seems to me that John McCain's not spending nearly enough time working ‘the my wife can get us free beer angle.' Right?”