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December 8, 2008 06:00 PM
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 at 8,395.87, up 66.82 points or 0.80 percent.

  • The dollar fell 0.5 percent to 92.41 yen.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 298.76, or 3.46 percent, to 8,934.18 -- its highest close since  early Nov. and it is in positive territory for December. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 62.43, or 4.14 percent, to 1,571.74.
  • The 10-year Treasury note was down 23/32 point, or $7.1875 per $1,000 face value, at 108 25/32 to yield 2.735 percent, from 2.657 percent Friday. The 30-year bond was down 30/32 point at 125 24/32 to yield 3.151 percent, from 3.110 percent Friday.
  • The dollar was at 92.97 yen from 93 yen, while the euro was at $1.2940 from $1.2717 late Friday,

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures closed 20 to 22 cents higher, which was in the upper end of today's trading range.
  • Soybeans: Futures gapped higher on the open and extended gains to finish 37 to 43 cents higher.

  • Wheat: Futures closed about where they opened, with Chicago contracts around 15 cents higher.
  • Cotton: Futures ended near limit up to close on or near session highs.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed mixed, with nearbys weaker.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures posted strong gains on the day, although some contracts closed near session highs, while others were near session lows.

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)






Dec. 8

Grain Inspections (A)
Tree Nuts: World Markets and Trade(F)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
Agricultural Income and Finance Outlook (E)


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


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock and Meat Trade Data (E)
Peanut Prices (N)
Turkey Hatchery (N) Oil Crops Outlook (E)
Rice Outlook (E)
Cotton and Wool Outlook
U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update (E)

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)

  • U.S. Could Take Stakes in Big 3 Bailout Plan Gives Government Warrants in Exchange for Loans; Passage Uncertain Under the plan which is still evolving, the government would receive warrants for stock equivalent to at least 20% of the loans any company receives. The company also would have to agree to limits on executive compensation and dividend payments. The program would be run by an "auto czar" It still remains to be seen how much GOP support there will be for plan.
    Related items:
    Many Car-Parts Makers Could Go Under
    GM's Hourly Workers Losing Edge Over Salaried Ones
    Let Ford Save Ford
  • Santa Has to Bring a Reality Check While President-elect Obama is seen spending hefty amounts via a stimulus plan, the item warns that a reality check will come later when spending cuts will be forced.
  • More Fed Officials Seek Fixes Beyond Rate Cuts Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn has added his voice to those saying that interest-rate cuts alone won't rescue the economy.
  • Whole Foods Returns FTC's Fire Grocer Files Rare Suit Against U.S. Agency in Fight Over Wild Oats Merger. Whole Foods has filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Washington charging the Federal Trade Commission with prejudice and due-process violations for its blocking of Whole Foods taking over Wild Oats.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Democrats Propose $15 Billion Big 3 Loan Compromise With Bush Could Pass This Week While work continues and there is no clear-cut plan completed, things are moving closer to a deal. However, the White House is said to be balking at some of the concepts in the Democratic package.
    Related item:
    Lobbyists Converge on Washington for Piece of Stimulus, Auto Aid

    Details of the Bill
  • The Green Machine Promoting the Future, Van Jones Has No Shortage of Energy Some are calling on the Obama administration to use the current economic situation to spur more action on the renewable energy front. Van Jones is also pushing to build the infrastructure needed for a more energy-efficient, and more energy-independent, nation and end coal-fired power plants.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

  • Lending a bigger hand Wal-Mart has donated $50,000 to Farm Rescue, a program which helps farmers that are injured, ill or affected by natural disasters.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Looks like Barack Obama has been giving jobs to all the Democrats who ran against him for president. … Joe Biden got Vice President. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. Bill Richardson…got Commerce Secretary. And today, he even hired Dennis Kucinich to play the elf at next year's White House Christmas party.”

Jay Leno: "And some more bad news. NASA announced today that we are delaying our mission to Mars until 2012 because of the economic crisis. Yeah. Apparently, the dollar is really weak on Mars right now.”

Jimmy Kimmel: "Remember last month the big story about all the money that the Republican National Committee spent on clothes for Sarah Palin and her family? I believe it was $150,000. Well today, the RNC tacked another $30,000 on to that. … Who would have guessed that the Republicans' October surprise turned out to be their credit card bill?”

Jimmy Kimmel: "Palin said she would gladly have bought everything herself, but in Alaska, the governor's salary of $120,000 a year is paid entirely in fish, which most department stores do not accept.”

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