Banks Improve Following Stress Tests

May 20, 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...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 80.49 points, or 0.9 percent, to 9,264.15.

  • The dollar was at 94.51 from 94.58.

Wednesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 52.81, or 0.6 percent, to 8,422.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 52.81, or 0.6 percent, to 8,422.04.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield was down to 3.19 percent from 3.25 percent late Tuesday.down to 3.19 percent from 3.25 percent late Tuesday.

  • The dollar was at 94.74 yen from 96.04 yen, while the euro was at $1.3768, from $1.3637 late Tuesday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures opened slightly higher and extended gains before profit-taking entered the market around midday.
  • Soybeans: Futures closed 7 to 19 1/2 cents higher. New-crop futures led gains amid bull spread unwinding.

  • Wheat: Futures finished around 9 cents higher in Chicago, 6 to 7 cents higher in Kansas City and mostly 10 to 12 cents higher in Minneapolis.
  • Cotton: Futures opened slightly lower on spillover from recent losses, but turned firmer amid short-covering and spillover from outside markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished steady to moderately higher, which was in the upper end of today's range.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade, with nearby live cattle closed firmer, while deferreds were weaker amid spreading.

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 18

Grain Inspections (A)
Milk Production(N)
Catfish Processing(N)
Crop Progress (N)


Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (E)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Sugar: World Production, Supply, and Distribution (F)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Wheat Data (E)
Feed Grains Database (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)
Cattle on Feed(N)
Chickens and Eggs (N)
Cold Storage (N)
Farm Labor (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)

  • World Economies Plummet Fall in GDP Quickens in Mexico and Japan; Global Outlook Brighter This Quarter Countries like Japan, Mexico and Germany that depend on the U.S. for demand for their goods have seen sharp declines in their respective economies for the first quarter of the year, a development which some say should put more focus on reviving the Doha Round of WTO trade talks.
    Related item:
    Mexico's Economy Slumps, Dragged Down by U.S.

    U.S. Rescue Aid Entrenches Itself
  • Industries are Grappling With New Bill on Climate. The article looks at how a host of industries could be impacted by climate change legislation, noting the issues and questions of costs to consumers if the plan comes to fruition.
    Related items:
    Farm Industry Wants Credit Where It's Due
    Oil Refiners Predict Higher Gas Prices
    Bill to Benefit Nuclear, Clean-Power Utilities
    Steel Braces for Impact
    Trading May Yet Bloom

  • Traders Sow Seeds of Profit in Mosaic, Agrium. The fertilizer firms have been on a climb lately, catching the notice of some investors.
  • GM Finance Arm to Get a Fresh Bailout GMAC is in line to receive a $7 billion infusion from the government and that figure could reach $14 billion. The item also notes this could also end up resulting in the government owning both GMAC and GM.
  • FDA Tobacco Regulation Approved by Senate Panel The bill approved by the committee would give the FDA authority over tobacco and would let the agency restrict ads to black-and-white and stop the use of the terms "mild" and "low tar." A similar bill passed the House last month and is favored by President Obama.
  • SEC Objects to Idea of Losing Some Oversight Power. The head of the SEC said that she objects to attempts to remove some key responsibilities from the market regulator, signaling there are going to be turf battles ahead for reviewing and reworking the financial market workings.
  • Fed Weighs More Securities Purchases . Fed officials at their April meeting agreed to go beyond purchasing $1.75 trillion in securities as they projected a worse performance for the economy. They did note, however, the housing sector may have reached a bottom.
  • Deere Lowers Forecast as Profit Drops 38%. Lower non-U.S. farm equipment sales and the steep decline in the construction industry combined to prompt the firm to lower its forecast moving forward.

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • Bill Changing Credit Card Rules Is Sent to Obama With Gun Measure Included The measure includes a provision which allows visitors to national parks and wildlife refuges to carry loaded weapons if they are otherwise licensed to possess guns.
  • China Grows More Picky About Debt China has actually bought Treasury bonds at an accelerating pace over the last year but the borrowing needs of the U.S. have increased, actually shrinking China's share of U.S. debt. China bought less than a sixth of the Treasuries issued in the 12 months through March after just their purchases two years ago briefly exceeded U.S. debt needs.
  • Fed Considered Increasing Its Purchase of Debt Release of the April Fed meeting minutes reveal central bankers were willing to increase the level of securities they would purchase.
  • Banks Raised Billions, Geithner Says Banks have managed to add $56 billion to their balance sheets since the government released its "stress test" results two weeks ago.

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

  • Cedar Rapids feed maker seeks flood aid The feed maker says it suffered $5 million in damage and $1.24 million in lost revenue from flood damage and has made a request to Iowa Economic Development Board for help.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "I had the most frustrating night the other night. ... I watched the season finale of '24' with Nancy Pelosi. You know, she couldn't remember the first 23 hours. Didn't remember any of the torture -- none of it!"

Jay Leno: "Hey, President Obama has found a way to quickly close Guantanamo Bay. He's going to turn it into a Pontiac dealership."

Jay Leno: "Vice President Joe Biden is on a trip to Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo. The White House is calling it 'Operation Keep Biden Away From the Microphones.'"

Jimmy Fallon: "Both President Obama and Dick Cheney will give competing speeches tomorrow on national security and terrorism. It's kind of like 'American Idol' except one of them got voted off months ago."

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