Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed ending up 1.06 percent, or 99.90 points, at 9,547.47. It bucked the trend of other global stock markets closing weaker this morning.
- The dollar weakened to 101.36 yen.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 76.62, or 0.82 percent, to 9,310.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 65.24, or 3.54 percent, to 1,779.01.
- The 2-year Treasury note fell 14/32 to 100 22/32 and yielded 1.82 percent, up from 1.64 percent Friday. The 10-year note fell 1 7/32 to 99 23/32 and yielded 4.03 percent, up from 3.86 percent. The 30-year bond fell 2 11/32 to 103 30/32 and yielded 4.26 percent, up from 4.14 percent.
- The dollar was at 102.04 yen, up from 101.90 yen Monday, while the euro was at $1.3654, up from $1.3599.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed narrowly mixed after trading firmer throughout much of the session.
- Soybeans: Futures closed mostly 30 to 32 cents lower. Futures were unable to build on Monday's corrective gains as the U.S. stock market couldn't muster followthrough buying and crude oil also turned lower.
- Wheat: Futures extended losses to finish on session lows.
- Cotton: Futures opened firmer on help from outside markets, but closed narrowly mixed, trimming early gains.
- Lean Hogs: October through June lean hog futures ended under light pressure, while far-deferred contracts closed slightly higher.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures trimmed gains into the close to finish 17 to 52 cents higher, while feeders closed 25 to 87 cents higher.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- At Moment of Truth, U.S. Forced Big Bankers to Blink The item recaps what led up to a meeting Monday with heads of the major U.S. banks and U.S. officials in which they were each given a sheet and asked to sign by Treasury Sec. Paulson, basically telling them if they didn't and needed a capital infusion down the road, the government wouldn't be as generous then.
Devil Is in Bailout's Details
Back From the Precipice
No Quick Fix for Housing Prices
U.S. Plan Adds New Risks
Legal Path for Intervention Was Blazed in FDR's Time
Next President to Inherit New Powers -- and Problems
Australia Unveils $7.4 Billion Stimulus Plan
Japan Acts to Bolster its Markets
UAE Steps Up Bid to Aid its Banks; Details Are Scarce
Iceland's Stocks Fall 5.8% as Hunt for Cash Goes on
Hong Kong Guarantees Deposits, Adds Bank Facility
Blanket Deposit Insurance Is a Bad Idea Op-ed item by Alan Blinder, a former Federal Reserve vice chairman and R Glenn Hubbard, former chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.
Banks Still Might Not Be 'Buys' Now
- Credit Shows Signs of Easing on Bank Rescue Lenders See Borrowing Costs Dip, but Corporations and Homeowners Still Face Squeeze; Full Thaw Could Take Months While lenders were seeing cheaper borrowing costs in the wake of the government plan to invest in banks, but others say it will take weeks or more for it to free up credit to consumers and others.
- Federal Deficit Soars to Nearly $455 Billion. The FY 2008 budget deficit was put at $455 billion by the administration, up from just $162 billion in FY 2007. But the red ink picture for FY 2009 is already rising rapidly, with the Congressional Budget Office putting it at $750 billion and some even hinting at a $1 trillion shortfall. But as a percent of GDP, the deficit is at still relatively low levels, as the paper notes, "A $750 billion deficit in 2009 would amount to about 5.5% of the economy, below the post-World War II record of 6% set in 1983. Deficits during World War II reached as high as 30%."
- Democrats Mull $300 Billion Stimulus Democrats are looking at a stimulus plan that would have a price tag of $300 billion, which could include new spending on highways and bridges, extended benefits to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped states and a tax cut. Republicans labeled the plan a big government boondoggle.
- Flow of Capital to China Slows Sharply Investors Back Off as Currency and Key Sectors Lose Steam; Still, Trade Surplus Keeps Credit Crunch at Bay. While foreign investment in China is still rising, the rate of increase has definitely slowed, according to China government figures. But it is also noted that Chinese banks
- UK's Rising Food Prices Hamper Economic Policy A 12.7% increase in food prices in September from a year earlier helped to drive overall inflation last month to 5.2%, its highest level in 16 years. The island country also imports a large share of its food, running a trade deficit in food equal to 1% of gross domestic product.
- China Orders Wide Milk-Products Tests In Effort to Restore Public Confidence. China ordered all milk products produced before Sept. 14 from store shelves until they pass safety testes.
- Grain, Metals Shipments Boost CSX . While overall volumes fell by 3%, the railroad reported that grain and metals shipments rose, helping its profit picture.
- On Death and Taxes ... and the Candidates. The item explores the two presidential candidates' stance on estate taxes and where they are in agreement on a key issue -- portability.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Dole, McGovern put bite into world hunger fight The two former lawmakers are being given the World Food Prize for their work on the issue of hunger around the world, which is marked by the creation of the McGovern-Dole school lunch program that was started in the 2002 Farm Bill.
- Banker predicts consequences for 'ag bubble'. An investment banker told a Des Moines audience that the ethanol "bubble" is about to burst and that will have impacts on farmers, and that the export side will also cool as more countries strive to be food self sufficient.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Today is Columbus Day, which means all the banks are closed. At least I think that's why they're closed.”
Jay Leno: "Today they gave out the Nobel prize for economics. Why?!”
Jay Leno: "The finance ministers of the world's top economies met in Washington for an emergency meeting on the banking crisis. … While they were meeting, they gave President Bush some Monopoly money to play with so he'd feel involved.”
Jay Leno: "Former President Jimmy Carter blasted President Bush, blaming the financial crisis on him. Carter called this the ‘worst financial crisis since the Carter Administration.'”
Jay Leno: "But the good news” is that the "stock market went up over 900 points today. … This is the best thing to happen to the John McCain campaign since -- actually, it's the first good thing to happen” to the McCain campaign.
Jay Leno: "Not been a good weekend for Governor Palin. In a 263-page report, Alaskan officials said she abused the powers of her office, and that was an ethics violation. Wow, she's only been on the national scene a month,” and "already she has an ethics violation. Who says she's not ready for Washington, huh?!”