Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average jumped 411.54 points, or 5.2 percent, to 8,329.05.
- The dollar bought 93.22 from 92.83.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 259.18, or 3.09 percent, to 8,635.42 -- down 2.2 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 63.75, or 4.41 percent, to 1,509.31 -- down 1.7 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield jumped to 2.70 percent from 2.56 percent late Thursday. The 30-year bond yield touched a record low of 3 percent during Friday trading before ending at 3.110 percent.
- The dollar was at 93 yen from 92.27, while the euro was at $1.2717 from $1.2785 late Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures started the week under pressure and sharply extended losses to finish near weekly lows.
- Soybeans: Futures closed with sharp losses, but came well off session lows late.
- Wheat: Futures finished with double-digit losses in most contracts at all three exchanges.
- Cotton: Futures held up fairly well until the end of the week when futures faced back-to-back days of sharp losses.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished widely mixed; winter-month contracts were firmer, while far-deferred futures faced moderate to heavy selling pressure.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures came off session lows, but posted sharp daily losses.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Outside Pressure Grows for GM to Oust Wagoner Lawmakers and others are beginning to step up their calls for changes in management at GM and potentially other automakers as the companies continue to press for government aid.
Negotiations on Auto Aid Show Bush's Influence in Final Days
- Obama Preserves Political Capital for Stimulus Plan. Obama transition officials insist that the decision on tapping the second installment of the financial rescue plan is up to the current administration. They appear to be focusing most of their energy on a stimulus plan that the hope will be completed early in January.
- The Enormous Importance of Trans-Pacific Free Trade Letter to the editor by Daniel Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs. The writer says a Trans-Pacific FTA would reap benefits for the U.S., the still-running Doha Round of WTO trade talks will hold even more promise.
- Hard Times Offer a Chance To Overcome Protectionism Economic downturns typically bring more protectionism by countries, but the article calls on the Obama administration not to follow such a path.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- New Auto Rescue Plan Focuses on Oversight Some Lawmakers Want To Replace GM Chief The latest auto-aid effort would provide $15 billion in emergency loans as early as next week and grant the federal government broad authority to manage a massive restructuring of their operations, including shifts in leadership at the top of at least one of the major automakers.
- For Gov. Sebelius, There's No Place Like Home The Kansas governor says she needs to stay at home and work on the issues facing the state as opposed to securing a position in the new Obama administration.
- Modifying the Mortgage Giants Fannie, Freddie Tilt From Profit Goals Toward Public Mission to Buoy Market The battle between profit and public policy goals continues at the two mortgage giants
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Farmers target EPA report they say might tax cows Via Associated Press. Farmers are bristling at an EPA proposal to require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.
- Farm bill written for 2008 may not work in 2009. National Farmers Union President Tom Buis told the organization's Nebraska state convention that the new bill may already be unworkable in 2009.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Poet CEO: Loosen ethanol rule Poet Chief Executive Jeff Broin says the government needs to act within the next six months to increase the amount of ethanol being added to gasoline.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "President Bush and his lovely wife Laura have purchased a new home in Dallas, Texas, worth $2 million. See, this is where president Bush has outsmarted everybody. People underestimate this guy. Five months ago, he would have had to pay 10 million bucks for that house, but thanks to his economic plan, he got it at a bargain. The man is a genius!"