Banks and Stress Tests

May 5, 2009 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...

  • Closed for holiday, but will reopen Thursday.

Tuesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 16.09, or 0.2 percent, to 8,410.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 9.44, or 0.5 percent, to 1,754.12.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield was up to 3.17 percent from 3.16 percent late Monday.

  • The dollar was at was at 98.97 Japanese yen from 98.93 yen while the euro was at $1.3325 from $1.3402 late Monday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures recovered in late trade to close mostly 3/4 cent to 1 1/2 cents lower.
  • Soybeans: After four consecutive higher closes, July bean futures ended 2 1/2 cents lower with other old-crop bean futures down 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cents. New-crop soybean futures ended 9 to 10 cents lower.

  • Wheat: Futures closed 2 to 3 cents higher in Chicago, 1 to 4 cents higher in Kansas City and 5 to 9 cents higher in Minneapolis. Chicago and Kansas City futures finished in the lower end of today's range, while Minneapolis wheat closed in the upper end of the range.
  • Cotton: Futures finished 80 to 129 points higher, which was near the middle of the day's range.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed higher in all but the May contract.
  • Live Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures posted modest gains after a relatively quiet trading session.

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)






May 4

Grain Inspections (A)
Dairy Products (N)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Peanut Prices

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)

  • BofA Faces $35 Billion Gap Government Stress Test Finds Capital Cushion Inadequate; New Pressure on Lewis The report says government regulators have informed the bank of the shortfall as part of their "stress test" on financial institutions. But the item say the amount needed may exceed what the bank can raise by selling assets or more shares to the public. That could force Bank of America to convert the government's preferred shares into common stock. A public announcement of the stress tests results is expected after markets close Thursday.
    Related item:
    Condition Is Set for Banks' TARP Exit
    Bernanke Sees Early Stages of Healing in U.S. Economy

  • Texan Is Second to Die of the New Flu Strain in U.S. A woman in Texas who lived near the Mexican border became the second person to die in the U.S. from the H1N1 flu virus. The virus continued to spread Tuesday, with 1,490 laboratory-confirmed cases in 23 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
    Related items:
    In Mexico City, Flu Brings Varied Lessons
    Living Through a Flu Quarantine
    China Clashes With Canada as Mexicans Depart

  • Higher Prices Help Fatten Kraft Profit The company's profit picture improved as it was able to raise prices on products and there has been a slowdown in the growth of private-label products which consumers had turned to. Company officials said consumers appear to be getting closer back to normal.
  • Archer Daniels Midland Hits Headwind Profit Plunges on Charges at Palm-Oil Business, Weaker Ethanol Demand. The company said that a global slowdown in ag demand was a key factor along with charges relative to a Malaysian palm oil venture and a downturn in ethanol demand.
  • Monsanto Sues DuPont Over Biotech Patents . The company filed suit to block Pioneer from releasing its Optimum GAT soybean seed in 2011. But Pioneer parent company DuPont argues the action to try and prevent so-called stacking of traits doesn't hold after a court ruling on cottonseed.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

  • Monsanto says Pioneer infringed Monsanto has filed suit to prevent Pioneer from introducing its new Optimum GAT traits in corn and soybean seeds next year.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: Supreme Court Justice David Souter "said he's going to retire next month. ... Why's he retiring? I mean, he's a senior citizen. What's he going to do? He's going to sit around the house all day in his robe being judgmental, right? He might as well just stay on the job."

Jay Leno: Supreme Court justice "is a job for life. ... There's only one other job in Washington that's a job for life. That's on the Joe Biden Clarification and Apology Unit."

Jay Leno: "Just a day after saying he wouldn't go anywhere in confined places like an aircraft or a subway because of the swine flu, Vice President Biden rode a train from Washington to Delaware. You know what that means? Not even Joe Biden listens to Joe Biden."

David Letterman: Supreme Court Justice David Souter is "stepping down because he said he wants to spend more time judging his family."

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