Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed up 0.7 percent, or 60.31 points, at 8,720.55.
- The dollar was trading at 92.45 yen from 92.85 yen.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70.09, or 0.81 percent, to 8,761.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 18.14, or 1.17 percent, to 1,565.48.
- The 2-year Treasury note fell 1/32 to 100 24/32, and its yield rose to 0.87 percent from 0.85 percent late Tuesday. The 10-year note fell 10/32 to 109 7/32, and its yield rose to 2.68 percent from 2.65 percent. The 30-year bond fell 1 6/32 to 126 31/32, and its yield fell to 3.10 percent from 3.04 percent.
- The dollar was at 92.627 yen from 92.12 yen, while the euro strengthened to $1.3027 from $1.2929 late Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures gapped higher on the open, filled the gap, but returned to near opening levels to post a near-session-high close.
- Soybeans: Futures posted a gap-higher open, but filled this morning's gap and posted a low-range close.
- Wheat: Futures posted a high-range close, finding support from outside markets.
- Cotton: Futures were supported by outside markets, closing firmer.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 40 cents to $1 lower, seeing spillover pressure from sharp to limit losses in the pork belly pit.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures remained higher through the day, with live cattle closing 75 cents to $1.52 higher and feeders up 35 to 80 cents.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Graft Case Touches Jackson Jr. Democrat Denies Seeking Senate Seat From Blagojevich; Service Union Is Scrutinized The report says that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is the "senate candidate no. 5" referenced by the arrested Ill. gov. on tape and that a representative of "senate candidate no. 5" had offered $500,000 or more for the Senate seat that had been held by President-elect Obama. Also, the Service Employees International Union is said to be involved in the situation for another candidate for the post and for a post-office position for the Illinois governor.
- Slowdown In China Gets Worse, Increasing Global Woes China's customs agency said Wednesday that November's exports fell 2.2% from a year earlier, the first decline since June 2001. The slowdown in trade is being reflected in companies where workers have been enjoying strong wages but are now seeing shutdowns and other slowing actions.
Oil Imports Drop Steeply, Beijing Says
- House Passes Rescue Plan for Big 3 Auto Makers Poised to Get $14 Billion in Loans, but Bill Will Be Tough Sell in Senate The legislation would authorize immediate release of $14 billion in emergency loans for the companies and open the door for approval of long-term financing if the companies can agree on plans to restructure. However, the package's fate in the Senate is far from certain as Republican support is not solid.
Democrats Push for Volcker as 'Car Czar'
Increases in Gasoline Consumption Are Kept to a Minimum by Recession
- Obama Picks Team to Guide Energy, Environment Agendas. Obama picked a Nobel laureate and three former EPA officials to occupy top posts at the Dept. of Energy, EPA, the Office of Environmental Quality and a newly created post of energy czar.
A Past President's Advice to Obama: Act With Haste
- We Need a Bailout Exit Strategy Let's not forget that free markets made America strong. Commentary item by SEC chief Christopher Cox. Cox reminds that the government investment in some financial firms is only temporary and that eventually things will return to a market structure that doesn't involve government holding a stake in financial firms.
- Freight Haulers Slam on the Brakes Expecting the Weakest Year in Three Decades, Truck, Rail and Ocean Shipping Firms Are Cutting Back. Some trucking firms are signaling they won't buy new trucks in 2009 and some ocean freight companies are docking current ships and not taking delivery of new ones as the freight industry is seeing one of the biggest downturns in shipping that it has experienced for years.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Calls for Governor to Quit in Scandal on Senate Seat Calls are growing for the Ill. gov. to quit and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he should not appoint anyone to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama.
Officials Say Jackson Was ‘Candidate 5' in Blagojevich Case
For Chicagoans, a Slap After Obama Euphoria
Senate Vacancies Leave a String of Sordid Tales
Illinois Scandal an Early Test for Obama Team
- House Passes Auto Rescue Plan The House approved the rescue plan by 237 to 170, mostly along party lines, which raises questions about whether the current package can garner enough Republican support to make it through the Senate. Even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was hesitant to handicap the level of Republican support in the Senate.
- Chinese Exports Declined Sharply in November. Trade data out of China Wednesday showed the first drop in Chinese exports in November since 2001.
- Obama Team Set on Environment . Obama will name Steven Chu, the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as his energy secretary, and Nancy Sutley, deputy mayor of Los Angeles for energy and environment, as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Former EPA administrator Carol M. Browner is expected to be the top White House official on climate and energy policy and Lisa P. Jackson, New Jersey's commissioner of environmental protection, as the head of the EPA.
- Russia Volunteers to Join an OPEC Cut in Oil Output . Russian officials said they would joint OPEC efforts to cut oil production, the first time the country has said it would act in concert with the oil producing cartel.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Tending to the future The item looks at a program by the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association where they selected an 11-year-old from Ruso to be the first beneficiary of its new "perpetual starter flock program” for teens.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
Denver Post (Colorado)
- Ag job looks dim for Salazar The paper makes the conclusion based on Salazar being given a seat on the Appropriations Committee. However his spokesman says he is not out of the running for the top USDA spot.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Well, President-elect Barack Obama and his family are going to spend the holidays in his home state of Hawaii. And you know who couldn't be more thrilled with this? The…reporters who follow the President,” because after "eight years of spending every holiday cutting brush in Crawford, Texas, they get to go to Hawaii!”
Jay Leno: "And earlier today, President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden met with Al Gore in Chicago to discuss energy and climate change issues. … So, you have the greatest speaker of our lifetime, the most boring speaker of our lifetime, and the guy who speaks non-stop for our entire lifetime all together in one room.”
Jay Leno: "And Barack Obama says he is promising not to smoke cigarettes while in the White House. I don't know. Is that a big issue for the American people? Really? You care if he smokes? Let me tell you something, okay? If he fixes the economy, he can smoke a bong in the White House.”
Jay Leno: "And voters in Louisiana, on Saturday, kicked out of office Democratic Senator William Jefferson. You remember this guy?” He "was indicted last year for having $90,000 in bribe money, in cash, in his freezer. Well, the voters kicked him out of office. How ironic is that? The only politician in Washington who actually saved some money. … Make him treasury secretary.”