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November 17, 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 fell 194.17 points, or 2.3 percent to 8,328.41. 

  • The dollar bought 96.52 yen.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 223.73, or 2.63 percent, to 8,273.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 34.80, or 2.29 percent, to 1,482.05.
  • The 10-year Treasury note was up 17/32 point, or $5.3125 per $1,000 face value, at 100 17/32 to yield 3.686 percent. The 30-year bond was up 14/32 point at 104 31/32 to yield 4.204 percent.

  • The dollar traded at  96.42, off from 96.84 yen, while the euro was at $1.2650, up from $1.2590 late Friday

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures opened slightly higher, extended gains and closed mid-range. Futures finished 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cents higher.
  • Soybeans: Futures closed mostly 10 to 12 cents higher, which was in the upper half of today's range, but well off session highs.

  • Wheat: Futures finished under heavy pressure and near session lows at all three exchanges.
  • Cotton: Futures closed slightly to moderately lower, coming off session lows but still posting a low-range close.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed slightly lower and in the middle to lower end of the trading range.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures under pressure through the day. Live cattle closed 77 cents to $1.75 lower, while feeders were down 67 cents to $1.80.

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)






Nov. 17

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (E)
Grain Inspections (A)
Milk Production
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)
Canned Deciduous Fruit: World Markets and Trade (F)
Sugar: World Production, Supply, and Distribution (F)


Meat Price Spreads (E)
Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Feed Grains Database (E)
Wheat Data (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Catfish Processing (N)
Chickens and Eggs (N)
Farm Labor(N)
Cold Storage (N)
Cattle on Feed (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)

  • Paulson Will Keep Reserve to Stay Flexible for Future Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson said that he doesn't intend to utilize the remaining $410 billion from the rescue package, preferring instead to save that for a need down the road and to give the Obama administration more flexibility Of funds so far, $250 billion has been used to buy equity stakes in banks and $40 billion to buy preferred shares in American International Group Inc.
    Related item:
    For Fed's Geithner, Rescue Ties Cut Both Ways
    Obama Aides Say Economy Needs Big Lift

  • Falling Crop Prices Threaten Boom in Small Farms Global Production Cutbacks Could Revive Food Crisis; Difficulties Ahead for Cambodians Who Invested as Agriculture Soared Some say the downturn in commodity prices seen since summer could threaten countries' abilities to reduce hunger. The article focuses heavily on Cambodia.
  • Slowdown Depresses China's Fuel Demand . China's imports of diesel fuel in Oct. fell 46.4% from Oct. 2007, another sign their economy is clearly struggling. However, analysts note that China's fuel import data is given to significant swings on a monthly basis and not too much should be read into the information.
  • Struggling States Let Retailers Keep $1 Billion in Sales Taxes, Study Says The article notes that retailers are utilizing laws to keep a portion of the sales taxes they collect. Laws in 26 states allow the action to compensate companies for the expense of gathering the funds. Thirteen  states impose no ceiling on the total amount kept by retailers.
  • A New Assertiveness on Economy Democrats' Detroit Rescue Plan Faces Hurdles, but 'Industrial Policy' Debate Is On. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is pushing to get automakers access to the rescue package, but opposition exists to taking such a step right now. The measure would make any aid to the auto companies subject to the same oversight imposed on financial-services companies

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Kennedy Announces Plan to Submit Bill For Universal Care Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) announced he'll introduce legislation next year to bring about universal health care. Some see his announcement as a signal he intends to head up the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
  • Administration Moves to Protect Key Appointees Political Positions Shifted To Career Civil Service Jobs Some 20 jobs occupied by political appointees have been converted over to civil servant positions by the Bush administration, continuing a situation that prior administrations have also done.
  • 2 Democrats to Submit Compromise on Lieberman Connecticut Senator Would Be Sanctioned for Backing GOP Ticket but Could Keep Key Committee Post A plan to allow Sen. Lieberman to keep his post as Chairman of the Homeland Security panel and still caucus with Democrats has been put forward. Some speculated Lieberman could have lost the committee post and potentially cast from the caucus for backing Sen. McCain in the election.
  • Potential Obama Appointees Face Extensive Vetting Those hoping to land a job in the Obama administration are subject to an intense vetting process, one that includes a 63-item questionnaire. For the roughly 800 executive posts that require Senate confirmation, nominees must undergo an FBI background check and file records with the Office of Government Ethics.
  • Automotive Rescue Is Threatened By Impasse Lawmakers continue at odds over Democratic plans to provide another $25 billion in loans to the U.S. auto industry, as some lawmakers view it as good money after bad.
    Related item:
    Debating Detroit's Direction.

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "President Bush briefed President-elect Obama on the state of the nation this week. You know, look, I don't want to say things look bad, but Barack Obama's new slogan, 'Maybe we can.'"

Jay Leno: "Barack Obama is going to have a meeting with John McCain. They're going to get together. McCain's still being a little stubborn. He insisted it be a town hall meeting."

David Letterman: "The Bushes are packing up. This is eight years they've lived in the White House, and this is interesting. They're going to be gone in January, and the $4 billion moving contract went to Halliburton."

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