Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 1.2 percent to 11,749.79
- The dollar bought bought 105.72 yen Wednesday afternoon in Asia, compared with just above 106 yen late Tuesday.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.51, or 1.30 percent, to 11,059.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 27.99, or 1.28 percent, to 2,207.90.
- The 2-year Treasury note fell 8/32 to 100 29/32 to yield 1.909 percent, while the benchmark 10-year note was down 3/32 point, or $0.9375 per $1,000 face value, at 104 7/32 to yield 3.493 percent. The 30-year bond fell 1-24/32 to yield 4.141 percent.
- The dollar traded at 105.92 yen from 104.88 while the euro was at $1.4143 from $1.4310 late Monday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed sharply lower to limit down, which was on or near session lows.
- Soybeans: Futures opened slightly lower, but sharply extended losses to at one point test its 70-cent limit in many contracts.
- Wheat: Futures opened slightly lower, but sharply extended losses on spillover from neighboring pits and outside markets.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply lower and in the lower end of the day's trading range.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed mixed amid bull spreading.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures ended moderately to sharply lower, with losses led by far-deferred contracts.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- U.S. to Take Over AIG in $85 Billion Bailout; Central Banks Inject Cash as Credit Dries Up Emergency Loan Effectively Gives Government Control of Insurer; Historic Move Would Cap 10 Days That Reshaped U.S. Finance The Federal Reserve will lend up to $85 billion to AIG at 8.5% interest -- secured by AIG assets -- and the U.S. government will effectively get a 79.9% equity stake in the insurer. The action came via legal authority granted in the Federal Reserve Act, which allows it to lend to nonbanks under "unusual and exigent" circumstances. AIG's financial crisis intensified Monday night when its credit rating was downgraded, forcing it to post $14.5 billion in collateral.
Lending Among Banks Freezes
U.S. Woes Further Strain Europe
Candidates Promise Broad Changes for Wall Street
Amid Turmoil, Tireless Team Of Advisers Backed Paulson
Congressional Leaders Appear Resigned to Plan
AIG's Asian Units Seek to Allay Customers' Fears
Ex-CEO Greenberg's Offer Got AIG Cold Shoulder
Are We Running Out Of Rescue Cash? Opinion item.
Loosen Deposit Insurance Rules To Prevent a Bank Run. Commentary item by Lawrence Lindsey, former assistant to the president for economic policy, is president and CEO of the Lindsey Group
- Fed Resists Pressure to Cut Rates Central Bank Buys Itself Time, Leaves Door Open to Easing. The Fed's decision to leave interest rates unchanged was the first unanimous decision in a year and was accompanied by a statement that markets interpreted as leaving the door open to a rate cut in the future.
The Fed's Epic Day Review & Outlook item.
- Resolution Trust Plan Is Floated Bringing back the Resolution Trust Corp. concept utilized in the recovery from the S&L crisis of the 1980s has been talked about in the wake of financial market upheaval and handle the assets that have been affected by the collapse of some major U.S. financial firms. But even those suggesting such a move admit legislation to make that happen is unlikely this year.
Resurrect the Resolution Trust Corp. Commentary item by Nicolas Brady, U.S. Treasury secretary from 1988-1993; Eugene Ludwig, U.S. comptroller of the currency from 1993 to 1998; and Paul Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979-1987.
- House Democrats Offer Bill Allowing Offshore Drilling Proposal Reverses Prior Opposition; GOP Cites Flaws The House approved a plan that would allow drilling 100 miles offshore and give states the right to allow it 50 miles from shore. However, Republicans noted that much of the oil/natural gas supplies are within 50 miles and wouldn't share royalties from such drilling with the coastal states. The Senate appears unlikely to pass the measure and the White House issued a veto threat on the bill in its current form.
Democrats Still Aren't Serious About Drilling. Commentary item by Rep. John Shadeg (R-Ariz.).
- More Firms Tied to Tainted Formula China Officials Say Industrial Chemical Was in Baby Food. China now says the chemical melamine has been found in baby formula produced by 22 firms and now say that over 6,000 babies have been sickened by the situation.
- Monsanto Raises Outlook for the Year Corn-Seed Unit, Helped by Grain Boom, to See Profit Top $2 Billion. Monsanto raised its 2008 outlook for earnings excluding items to between $3.58 and $3.60 a share, in part due to its corn seed unit to best $2 billion in profits on the rise in grain markets. Monsanto's stock is down 20% from June but up 48% from a year ago.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- 2 Nebraskans hold long-distance Monsanto jobs The item looks at how two Nebraskans telecommute to jobs that are actually based in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Swift responds to protests in Grand Island. The firm says the controversy centers around sunset prayer during Ramadan and timing of the second-shift lunch break at the plant. JBS Swift officials say "restrictions regarding these breaks prevent us from precisely accommodating requests for an evening prayer break."
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Well, if you watched TV last night, you know Charlie Gibson did something John McCain has never done -- interviewed Sarah Palin.”
Jay Leno: "At one point, Charlie Gibson asked Palin about the Bush Doctrine, but she didn't know what it was. But, you know, to be fair, even Bush doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is.”
Jay Leno: "Supporters of Palin say it's okay she doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is because the average American doesn't know what it is. But shouldn't the bar be a little higher for this job?”
Jay Leno: "I mean, hey, let's be honest. We already had an average guy as president. It didn't work out that great.”
Jay Leno: "Sarah Palin was also asked if we might have to go to war with Russia, and she said, ‘Perhaps so.' … Isn't that like a Magic 8 Ball kind of answer? ‘Will we have to go to war?' ‘Reply hazy, try again later.'”
Jay Leno: "And…as you know, they've already come out with a Sarah Palin action figure. And today, the Democrats released a Joe Biden action figure. It talks and talks and talks.” You "just can't get the thing to shut up.”
Jay Leno: "In fact, the other day while talking to a group of supporters, Joe Biden said that Hillary Clinton might have been a better pick for vice president than him. Well, that's one thing to get the base fired up, huh? Tell them they picked the wrong person! Yeah! That'll get them fired up!”
Jay Leno: "Charles Rangel, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee,” is "the guy that writes the tax codes.” Well, he "has been found to be in default on his taxes on income on a beach villa he owns in the Caribbean. Rangel blames it on his accountant, and he said he didn't understand the law.” He "wrote it! … If he doesn't understand it, how screwed are we?”