Awaiting Gustav

August 28, 2008 07:00 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 climbed 2.4 percent today, its biggest one-day percentage gain in over three weeks, closing up 304.62 points to 13,072.87 and marking its greatest one-day percentage gain since August 6.

  • The dollar declined to 109.13 yen at 7:52 a.m. in London, compared with 109.50 late yesterday in New York and 110.07 on Aug. 22. The dollar fell to $1.4732 per euro, compared with $1.4706 late yesterday. The euro was at 160.74 yen from 161.04 yesterday.

Thursday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for a third straight day, finishing 212.67 points higher, up 1.8 percent, at 11,715.18, off 11.7 percent on the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose for a second straight day, up 1.2 percent to 2, 411.64, down 9.1 percent on the year.
  • The 2-year Treasury note was off 29/32 to yield 2.395 percent. The benchmark 10-year note shed 8/32 to yield 3.795 percent.

  • The dollar was mixed. The euro recently fell to $1.4688, compared to $1.4722 late Wednesday. Against the Japanese currency, the dollar recently fell to $109.59 yen, down from $109.61 yen.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures closed near opening levels to finish 7 1/2 to 10 cents lower.
  • Soybeans: Futures remained under pressure through the day, but trimmed losses ahead of the close to finish near opening levels. Soybean futures closed 15 1/2 to 23 3/4 cents lower. Meal closed lower in all but the front-month contract, which closed firmer. Soyoil futures closed lower on spillover from crude oil weakness.

  • Wheat: Futures posted double-digit losses to finish mostly around 13 to 15 cents lower at all three exchanges.
  • Cotton: Futures opened slightly higher, but closed moderately to sharply lower on spillover pressure from outside markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures gapped lower on the open and sharply extended losses to close $1.20 to $1.97 lower.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures trimmed early gains to finish 5 to 65 cents higher in all but the April 2009 contract, which closed 2 cents lower. Feeder futures closed steady to 55 cents lower.

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)






Aug. 25

Grain Inspections (A)
Turkeys Raised (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (E)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
Vegetables and Melons Outlook (E)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Poultry Slaughter (N)
Farm Income and Costs (E)
Peanut Stocks and Processing (N)
Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Rice Stocks (N)
Agricultural Prices (N)
Egg Products(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)

  • U.S. Weighs Halt to Talks With Russia On Nuclear Arms Curbs The U.S. has put "under review" bilateral talks with Russia focused on missile defense and nuclear disarmament as part of a broader re-evaluation, escalating its response to Moscow's actions in Georgia.
  • Obama Frames Campaign As Vote on Economy, Bush Obama launched a historic general election campaign by pledging to "fix the broken politics of Washington." The senator faces challenges and uncertainties no other presidential contender has confronted.
  • In This Field of Dreams, the Gold Goes to the Proficient Plowman Austrian Bernhard Altmann has emerged as the fan favorite for the World Plowing Championship. The competition marks the grand opening of Europe's competitive plowing season, which runs until spring planting.
  • New Orleans Remembers Katrina, Awaits Gustav City Is 'Better Off' Three Years Later, But Work Remains New Orleans will commemorate the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Friday under the threat of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is creeping toward a city with many of the same vulnerabilities that proved disastrous in 2005.
  • FEMA Says Weaknesses Remain In Its Ability to Respond Quickly The Federal Emergency Management Agency is rushing to prepare for what may be its first major test since Hurricane Katrina.
  • Overdue Budget, Auto-Maker Bailout Will Top Democrats' Agenda Democratic congressional leaders will face several contentious issues when Congress reconvenes in September, including overdue budget bills, clashes over energy and economic policy and a proposal to extend as much as $50 billion in federal loans to the Big Three U.S. automakers.
  • EU Remains Divided Over Punishment of Russia Some Countries Fear Impact of Breaking Ties With Moscow The former communist countries of the European Union want next week's EU summit to show Russia it will pay a price for its military intervention in Georgia, but the organization is struggling to find meaningful sanctions it can agree on.
  • Asia Seeks Its Own Trade Deals as Global Talks Stall Southeast Nations Set Pacts With India And Australia With global trade talks stalled, Asian-Pacific nations forged ahead with individual deals opening the flow of goods and services within the economically vibrant region. Southeast Asian nations reached free-trade deals with India, Australia and New Zealand and aimed to seal an investment pact with China, while economic ministers from 16 regional states agreed to pursue broader free-trade deals that could stretch from India to New Zealand in the coming years.
  • China Reaches $3 Billion Deal To Develop Oil Field in Iraq China clinched a deal to develop an oil field in southeastern Iraq, marking the first major foreign oil contract struck with the Iraqi government since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
  • USDA Seeks to Segregate Modified Livestock The U.S. Agriculture Department wants to keep genetically modified animals from mixing with traditional livestock, saying the potential risks are unclear. The USDA said it is considering the need to regulate the movement -- including the importation, containment and field release -- of genetically engineered animals to ensure that the genetically engineered traits don't present a health risk to traditional cattle, pigs and other livestock.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Obama, Accepting Nomination, Draws Sharp Contrast With McCain Crowd of 84,000 Hears Policy Specifics and Criticism of GOP Sen. Barack Obama, the first African American to lead a major-party ticket, accepted the Democratic nomination for president Thursday night, sharply criticizing Republican John McCain and casting the election as "our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive."
  • Preparing for Mass Exodus As Gustav Gathers Strength Determined to avoid the mistakes made when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, federal and state officials began preparations for massive evacuations if it becomes clear that Tropical Storm Gustav will sweep over the region with the same force as Katrina.
  • Putin Asserts Link Between U.S. Election and Georgia War Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he had reason to think U.S. personnel were in the combat zone during the recent war in Georgia, adding that if confirmed, their presence suggested "someone in the United States" provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.
  • Iraq and China Sign $3 Billion Oil Contract Deal Is First of Its Kind Since Invasion Iraq and China signed a $3 billion deal this week to develop a large Iraqi oil field, the first major commercial oil contract here with a foreign company since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
  • Foreign Investors Recognize Allure of Sub-Saharan Africa NAIROBI -- To a growing number of foreign investors, sub-Saharan Africa represents much more than the ethnic clashes, coups, bouts of genocide and natural disasters that have scarred many countries in the region. It represents dazzling opportunities to make money.
  • GOP Considers Delaying Convention Tropical Storm Gustav Is Forecast to Hit U.S. Next Week as Hurricane Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.
  • McCain Prepares to Announce His Running Mate Sen. John McCain will hold a noontime rally with his running mate today in Dayton, Ohio, kicking off his "Road to the Convention" tour in front of thousands of supporters at Wright State University.
  • Daschle in a Good Place, in Politics and Life As Early Obama Backer, Former Senate Leader Gains Role as Wise Man of the Party
  • Salmonella Outbreak Thought to Be Over The government said yesterday that the salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 1,440 people appears to be over, but its ultimate source may never be known, partly because of shortcomings in the nation's food safety system.
  • Russia Bans Imports From 19 U.S. Poultry Producers The nation's chicken producers faced more bad news Thursday as Russia said that 19 unnamed U.S. poultry producers will be barred from exporting their products there, a move that would deprive them access to a key market.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: “Hey, there’s now talk John McCain may choose a woman as his running mate. So, there’s hope for Hillary yet!”

Jay Leno: “I thought Hillary Clinton gave a great speech last night” at the Democratic National Convention, but “about that tangerine-colored pantsuit she was wearing. Maybe I’m wrong, but didn’t Elton John wear that at the Grammys last year?”

Jay Leno: “Barack Obama chose Joe Biden” as “his running mate,” and a “lot of people are saying in the media that Biden was the logical choice. … Biden got, what, 8,000 votes during the primaries? Hillary got 18 million votes. Well, that’s logical, sure!”

Jay Leno: “Barack Obama will give his big speech tomorrow night at Invesco Field, a football stadium, which is appropriate, considering how many times the Democrats have fumbled the past couple of years.”

Jay Leno: “Well, as you know, the Democratic convention is being held this week at the Pepsi Center in Denver. … Don’t confuse that with John McCain’s convention next week. That’s at the PoliGrip Center.”

Jay Leno: “Here’s a little political fact. Dick Cheney is the first Vice President in 80 years not to run for president. Actually, Cheney did consider four more years, but his doctor only gave him 2 1/2.”

Jay Leno: “President Bush declared some counties” hit by Tropical Storm Fay “disaster areas, so they could get federal assistance. Once again, see, I think Bush means well,” but “I don’t think he really understands. Like, today, he said it’s important to help” Florida, because “he considers it ‘one of our most important allies for when we fight the Georgians.’”

David Letterman: “By the way, if the” presidential “election were held tomorrow, who would vote for Barack Obama,” and who would “vote for John McCain? They are, as you probably know, ideologically speaking, they are two completely different nominees. For example, one offers you hope,” the “other offers you a dish of hard candy.”

Conan O’Brien: “During the Democratic convention…delegates are being warned, this year, not to drink too much. … Yeah, when asked why, Democratic officials said, ‘Last time we got drunk at our convention, we ended up nominating Walter Mondale.’”

Conan O’Brien: “The publisher of Simon & Schuster came out with a children’s book about Barack Obama. … Yeah, they also came out with a children’s book about John McCain called ‘Horton Gets a Hearing Aid.’”

Conan O’Brien: “A woman in Illinois has discovered that her Jeep Cherokee used to be owned by Barack Obama.” You “can tell the jeep is Obama’s, because Hillary Clinton keeps trying to get in the driver’s seat.”

Jimmy Kimmel: “Barack Obama’s…running mate…spoke tonight” at the Democratic National Convention. And “after all the name-related problems this campaign has had, why Obama would pick a vice president with the last name Biden is beyond me. … Obama, Biden – it’s like they’re trying to make the ticket sound as much like Osama bin Laden as possible.”

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