Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 300.66 points, or 3.34 percent, to close at 9,306.25 -- its third day of gains.
- The dollar fell 0.6 percent against the yen to 101.23 yen.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 413.21, or 4.67 percent, to 9,265.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 58.74, or 3.43 percent, to 1,770.03.
- The 10-year Treasury note rose 18/32 to 101 2/32 and yielded 3.87 percent, down from 3.97 percent. The 30-year bond rose 1 8/32 to 4.26 percent, down from 4.34 percent.
- The dollar was at 101.73 Japanese yen, up from 101.45 yen, while the euro bought $1.3320, down from $1.3406 late Friday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures finished mostly 15 to 16 cents higher, which was near session highs.
- Soybeans: Futures closed mostly 34 to 35 cents higher, which was near the top of the day's range.
- Wheat: Futures ended 2 to 4 cents lower in Chicago, 1 to 2 cents lower in Kansas City and mixed to mostly lower in Minneapolis.
- Cotton: Futures posted very sharp losses and finished in the lower end of today's wide trading range.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed higher in all but the December contract, which was 5 cents lower.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures finished mixed to mostly lower and in the middle to lower end of the day's trading range.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- China Slows, World Feels the Pain U.S. Government Weighs Stimulus; Chinese Economy Cools Faster as Exports Soften China's economic growth has slowed to a 9% increase in the third quarter and some speculate their growth could be below 10% for the year. If so, that would be the first time since 2002. Demand for Chinese goods is also falling as economies around the globe enter rough economic waters. However, Chinese consumer spending is still said to be robust despite flagging demand in some areas like automobiles.
- OPEC Expected to Cut Output In Bid to Prop Up Oil Prices. OPEC ministers are seen backing at least a 1 million barrel per day reduction in their output at an emergency meeting this week, potentially taking action in two installments. But the article questions exactly how much impact this will have, particularly if the global economy slows dramatically.
- Volcker Makes a Comeback as Part of Obama Brain Trust Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker is now expected to appear on the campaign trail for Sen. Obama after the two have developed a sort of bond over economic matters, and he has become one of Obama's key advisers on economic and financial matters.
- Fed Chief Backs New Stimulus Package Bernanke Cites Risk of a Longer Slowdown, Says Measures Should Aid Credit Markets Fed Chairman Bernanke has come out in favor of another economic stimulus plan and President Bush said he is "open to the idea" of another stimulus plan. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday that he is open to acting on "pro-growth policies," but said he would reject any bill that includes "hundreds of billions in new government spending masquerading as 'economic stimulus.'"
Bernanke Endorses Obama Editorial.
- U.S. Rescue Fund Is Likely to Foster Bank Takeovers Indications are that some banks are eyeing the injection of funds from the government as a way to finance acquisitions of other banks, a situation that could raise concerns as the goal of the effort was to improve liquidity in the market. Also, the Treasury also said on Monday that it will not make public the names of banks that are rejected, and will announce only those that qualify for assistance.
German Exporters Feel the Financial Squeeze
India Cuts Key Loan Rate in Move to Boost Growth
Belgium Bails Out Its Third Financial-Sector Firm
Drawing on Experience of Past Rescue, Sweden Outlines Bank-Bailout Plan
Pakistan Will Ask IMF For $4 Billion in Aid
Canadian Leaders Consider A Loan-Guarantee Program
- Brazilian Beef Purchase Is Challenged by the U.S.. The Dept. of Justice filed suit to block the purchase of National Beef Packing Company by JBS Swift, but will allow the purchase of Smithfield Beef to move ahead.
- Hormel Net to Be Hurt by Markdown In Employee-Compensation Trust. The company for the second time in recent months cut its forecast, citing the financial market situation as a factor.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Economic Stimulus Gains Traction Bernanke Offers Limited Support for New Spending Since economic data continues to signal weakness in the U.S. economy and there are signs that additional quarters of poor performance are on tap, Fed Chief Bernanke told Congress he was in favor of some additional economic stimulus efforts.
- 3 Agencies Vie for Oversight of Swaps Market The Securities & Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are jockeying for position relative to oversight of the massive swaps and derivatives market.
- Banks Interested in Deal, Paulson Says Treasury Sec. Paulson says a host of banks are interested in a government infusion of money. As it stands now, this is how the plan works, according to the article: In exchange for the government investment, the participating banks will offer the government preferred shares, which will pay 5 percent annually for the first five years. This interest rate is significantly lower than the prevailing rate of 8 to 10 percent for similar deals, Treasury officials said.
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Regulators sue to block beef packer buyout The Dept. of Justice and attorneys general from several states are suing to block JBS Swift from buying National Beef Packing Company. Some, including National Beef, still support the deal.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Well, if you watched the debate last night, you know John McCain kept talking about this guy Senator Obama met on the campaign trail named Joe the Plumber. Do you know the saddest part about the Joe the Plumber story? Last month, he was an investment banker."
Jay Leno: "And this Joe the Plumber has been all over the place. He's been on 'Good Morning America.'" He was "on Fox News. He was talking to the Associated Press. This plumber has done more interviews in one day than Sarah Palin has done since being chosen by John McCain."
Jay Leno: "And…McCain kept talking about how he could help this man. … You know, if McCain really wanted to help this guy, you know what you should do? Just have him re-pipe all of McCain's houses. That would be a job for life."
Jay Leno: "Well, actually, here's the best story. I just got this from 'The New York Times.' Turns out Joe the Plumber, his name is not Joe and he is not a licensed plumber and he owes back taxes. So it sounds like he has the best plan to reduce taxes – don't pay them."
Jay Leno: "And the new movie of President Bush opens tomorrow. It is called 'W.'" Apparently, "they chose that title" because "'Body of Lies' was already taken."
Jay Leno: "And happy birthday to Winnie the Pooh," who is "82 years old this week." And he is "still sharp as a tack. In fact, earlier today, Winnie was registered to vote by ACORN in Florida."
David Letterman: "Joe the Plumber is such a celebrity now that after the debate he was rushed to Washington to unclog a valve on Dick Cheney."
David Letterman: "You know who was at the debate last night? Hillary Clinton." But "I am thinking to myself, is it a really good idea to be leaving Bill home alone?"
Conan O'Brien: "And more details coming out about Joe the Plumber." And "I'm not making this up. It came out this morning. His real name is not Joe, and he's not a licensed plumber. … However, the McCain campaign insists that the 'the' is accurate."
Conan O'Brien: "During last night's debate, Hillary Clinton watched from the audience of Hofstra University's auditorium. … Bill Clinton was also at Hofstra University, but he watched" the debate "from the Delta Gamma sorority house."