Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed
- The dollar bought 93.25 yen, compared with 93.13 yen in New York late Tuesday.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 270.00, or 3.31 percent, to 8,419.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 51.73, or 3.70 percent, to 1,449.80.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield dipped to 2.67 percent, just above a 46-year low. The 30-year note yield fell to 3.17 percent, the lowest level in at least three decades
- The dollar bought was at 93.28 yen from 93.21 yen, while the euro was at $1.2705 from $1.2594 Monday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures spent the day pivoting around unchanged and closed fractionally to around 2 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures closed around 19 cents lower, with meal and soyoil seeing spillover pressure.
- Wheat: Futures favored a firmer tone on the close due to spreading with corn and soybeans.
- Cotton: Futures settled with slight losses and in the lower end of today's trading range.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures opened firmer on short-covering, but "turnaround Tuesday" price action diminished and futures ended mixed.
- Live Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures extended losses into the close to finish near session lows.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Big Three Seek $34 Billion Aid GM, Chrysler Warn of Collapse This Month as Lawmakers Explore Bankruptcy The big three automakers returned to Washington, this time via hybrid cars and not private jets, to make their case for aid. All three said they said they will consolidate operations and accelerate production of higher-mileage vehicles. In addition, GM and Ford plan to trim their brands. GM said it needs an immediate injection of $4 billion to stay afloat until the end of the year while Chrysler wants $7 billion by the end of 2008. Ford is seeking a credit line from the government of $9 billion, but said it may not tap all of it.
Bill to Speed Loans Appears to Be Auto Makers' Top Prospect
- Chambliss Secures Georgia Win Republican's Senate Runoff Victory Dashes Democratic Hopes for a Super-Majority Senate Ag Committee ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) maintained his seat in the run-off election, capturing 58% of the vote.
- Paulson Debates Second Infusion Hostile Lawmakers, Competing Bailout Demands and GAO Criticism Pose Dilemma Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson is mulling whether to request the second $350 billion installment from the rescue plan, but the matter has been clouded by a GAO report questioning whether the is enough oversight on the plan and lawmakers want more help for auto makers and consumers, something Paulson has resisted.
- Obama to Tap Richardson for Commerce Post. The New Mexico Gov. is expected to be announced as Obama's pick for Commerce today, but some Latino groups are not happy that he's the first one picked.
- Democrats Plot Series of Quick Legislative Victories. While their initial focus is on an economic stimulus package, Democratic leaders in Congress are planning to push on issues such as renewable energy, children's health care and embryonic stem-cell research early in 2009. These are issues that won considerable bipartisan support in the last Congress, but were vetoed, filibustered or otherwise blocked by the Republican White House and its allies in the Senate and House.
- We Need a Global Carbon Tax The cap-and-trade approach won't stop global warming. Op-ed item by consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Tony Heap, coordinator of Option 13, a campaign to help broker a successor to the Kyoto Protocol that includes all major nations. The writers argue a global carbon tax will bring results while they say this about a cap-and-trade plan: Good intentions to limit big polluters in some countries but not others will turn any meaningful cap into Swiss cheese.
- Farm Gear Still Trucking Big Backlogs Cushion Machinery Firms' Sales -- for Now. The item focuses on expectations farmers may not opt for new tractors but implement makers still have a backlog of orders to fill that will temper any potential slowdown for a while.
New York Times (registration to site required)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Stock market lost 679 points today. It's not even a stock – that's a flea market. That's what it is now."
Jay Leno: "Right wing pundit Ann Coulter has broken her jaw, and the doctor has wired it shut. ... He didn't wire it shut for medical reasons. He said it was the holidays, he wanted to do something nice for people."
Jay Leno: "Oh, speaking of religion, Barack Obama still has not chosen a church to attend in Washington, DC. How hard could it be for him to find a reverend? How hard is that?"