Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 272.13 points, or 3 percent, to 8,809.30.
- The dollar bought 97.82 yen.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 73.27 points, or 0.8 percent, to 8,870.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 30.66, or 1.9 percent, to 1,616.74
- The 2-year Treasury note gained 4/32 to yield 1.274 percent. The 10-year note was up 12/32 to yield 3.753 percent. The 30-year bond rose 1-4/32 to yield 4.205 percent.
- The dollar was mixed against other major currencies
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed 8 to 9 cents higher, which was near the top of the day's trading range.
- Soybeans: Futures closed 25 to 28 cents higher.
- Wheat: Futures ended mostly lower after trading both sides of unchanged throughout the day.
- Cotton: Futures ended 80-plus points lower, which was in the lower end of the day's range, but off session lows.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw a choppy day of trade, but finished firmer in all but the December contract, which closed 40 cents lower.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed higher in all but the December contract, which finished 15 cents lower.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Strains Mount on Bailout Plans American Express Gets Quicker Access to U.S. Cash; Fannie Mae May Need More Help Financial strains continue to mount as more firms are having trouble. Fannie Mae said it may need a cash infusion by year-end, GM said it may violate some of its credit terms and American Express won Fed approval to become a bank holding company, allowing it access to rescue fund money. Already, the Treasury Dept. has allocated all but $60 billion of the initial $350 billion installment of the package. Some even say the situation could hinder Timothy Geithner, head of the New York Fed, relative to his potential selection as Treasury Secretary.
Economists Urge Leaders to Act Quickly
Obama Prods Bush to Aid Detroit
- Retail Losses Sap a Jobs Safety Net Roughly one in 10 holds a job in the retail sector, but that is one area that has lost nearly a quarter of all the jobs lost since Nov. 2007 and some fear an even bigger washout is coming.
- China Bets Highways Will Drive Its Growth Some 30,000 miles of expressways were built in the past decade and plans are for China's highway system to stretch 53,000 miles by 2020, surpassing the 47,000 miles of interstate roads in the U.S. currently. A chunk of the stimulus plan announced by China for roads and other infrastructure projects.
Beijing's Stimulus Package Fuels Wagers on Caterpillar
- New Administration Would Risk Backlash With Gas-Drilling Reversal. If the Obama administration works to reverse some things like allowance of drilling for natural gas in Utah, it would have to do so while balancing the interests of environmentalists with the public desire for more energy supplies.
- Tyson Warns of Loss Amid Slump Weakening Exports and Rising Costs Undercut Improved Efficiency and Price Gains While reporting a 50% jump in earnings for its fourth quarter, it warned it could swing to a loss in the current quarter. Stronger performance by its beef and pork sectors offset a $91 million loss for its poultry sector.
- Bunge Drops Takeover As Corn Products Balks. Falling share prices prompted Corn Products International to say they want out of a possible sale to Bunge. The firm's board said it would no longer pursue the deal. According to the article, a decline in Bunge's shares meant the deal's value had dropped to about $1.72 billion, down from the $4.2 billion when it was unveiled in June.
- If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Are Biofuels To Blame? It's Not Easy Being Green. The issue of indirect land-use changes is now emerging as a debate point in the biofuels situation, and like the studies on biofuels themselves, there are a wide range of opinions on the topic.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Obama Asks Bush to Provide Help for Automakers President Bush was urged by President-elect Obama to provide aid to the U.S. auto industry. And, reports say that Bush indicated he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Obama and congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia.
- American Express to Be Bank Holding Company The firm won approval from the Fed and that will also allow it access to funds from the rescue package.
- Tyson Foods Profit Falls Below Estimate. Losses in its poultry operations trimmed the firm's profits below expectations and it warned it could swing to a loss in the next quarter.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "One touching moment the other night during Barack Obama's speech. Oprah was crying, did you see that? Jesse Jackson was crying. Hillary Clinton was crying. I think Hillary's still crying, if I'm not mistaken.”
Jay Leno: "And political analysts are saying today that Barack Obama's win was unprecedented. Which again confused President Bush. He said, ‘Unprecedented? You mean, he didn't win? He got unpresidented?'”
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama is now gonna receive the daily White House intelligence briefing on things like, you know, security and terrorism, stuff like that. It's the same briefing President Bush gets every day, but without the pictures and the color by numbers.”
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama spent his first day as President-elect putting together his transition team. And if you believe MSNBC, by tomorrow he will have chosen all 12 of his disciples.”
Jay Leno: "Don't you love how the different news outlets put their own slant on it? Like see how Fox News is covering Barack Obama's first 24 hours? They said, ‘Day one, America held hostage.'”
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama promised a new America in which the powerless will have a voice. So, he's already reaching out to Republicans.”