Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 30.06 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,749.84.
- The dollar was at 99.94 yen from 99.79 yen.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 216.48, or 2.8 percent, to close at 7,978.08 -- up 20.4 percent over the last month, which is its biggest percentage gain in a four-week period since the spring of 1933. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 51.03, or 3.3 percent, to 1,602.63.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield was up to 2.76 percent from 2.66 percent late Wednesday.
- The dollar was at 99.55 yen, compared to 98.64 yen late Wednesday while the euro was at $1.3461 compared to $1.3212.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures closed around 6 cents higher, which was a mid-range finish.
- Soybeans: Futures opened higher and sharply extended gains, finishing nearer session highs. Soybeans closed 21 to 25 cents higher, with meal and soyoil seeing strong spillover support.
- Wheat: Futures opened slightly higher and sharply extended gains to finish near session highs. Futures at all three exchanges were up around 20 cents.
- Cotton: Futures closed narrowly mixed, finishing 5 points lower to 13 points higher.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw a choppy day of trade, finishing 27 to 85 cents higher in all but the April contract, which closed 47 cents lower.
- Live Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures gapped higher on the open and extended gains, but finished mid-range for the day.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- World Leaders Agree on Global Response Accord in London Quadruples Funding to the IMF, but Delays Decisions on Many Divisive Issues G20 leaders agreed to to "deliver the scale of sustained fiscal effort necessary to restore growth" without specifying what those steps might be. They also agreed to utilize the International Monetary Fund to warn of impending problems and assess whether G-20 countries are keeping their promises on regulation and fiscal stimulus to ease the impact of the recession. However, the item notes the following: "It's far from clear that the international organizations have the muscle -- or will -- to carry out the tougher mandates."
IMF Gains New Influence From Summit
Obama Hits G-20 Resistance
Obama, Brown Strike Similar Notes on Economy
G-20 Reality Check Editorial
- FASB Eases Mark-to-Market Rules . The Financial Accounting Standards Board approved shifts in the definition of an asset that is "other than temporarily impaired," The item notes the changes draws a distinction that is especially relevant to mortgage-backed securities, providing that "once an asset is other than temporarily impaired, only losses related to the underlying creditworthiness would affect earnings and regulatory capital. Losses attributed to market conditions would be disclosed and accounted for elsewhere."
- Congress Approves Obama's $3.6 Trillion Budget President's Priorities on Health Care, Energy and Education Are Intact; House and Senate Now Face Task of Reaching Compromise. House and Senate negotiators must now iron out the differences between their respective versions of the budget. No Republicans voted for the package in the House. The Senate version also contains language on estate taxes.
- In Confronting Its Biggest Foe, Green Movement Also Fights Itself Environmentalists are confronting the need for new technology to be adopted and put into use relative to things like renewable energy against their traditional view of moving in incremental steps on things like wind turbines, etc.
- Treasury Seeks to Free Up Funds by Shuffling Spending in TARP The changes are aimed at providing more cash for bailout efforts and could be reversed if Congress makes additional money available.
- Cap and Tax Collapse Congress balks at one more bad Obama idea. Opinion item. The paper says that the vote on cap-and-trade in the budget plan to require 60 votes for any such legislation to be approved now probably means a regulatory implementation action. They also call on Republicans to gear up for the battle on health care.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- World Leaders Pledge $1.1 Trillion for Crisis The G-20 leaders agreed to pledge $1.1 trillion in new funds that would greatly increase the capital available to the International Monetary Fund. Their goal is to spur trade back to life after predictions that it will shrink by 9 percent this year. However, the item notes that the loans and guarantees fall short of the direct infusion of money that some had pushed for.
Obama's Star Turn at Summit Gets Mixed Results
- Budgets Approved, With No GOP Votes No Republicans in the House or Senate voted in favor of the Fiscal 2010 budget resolution, setting the stage for the House and Senate to work out their differences. Some also believe that if lawmakers opt to put fast-track budget plans in place on health care and education proposals, it would increase the partisanship in Washington.
Fuzzy Picture of Taxes, Spending and Debt
- Fast Vote Is Unlikely on Health Dept. Pick Despite encountering little opposition in her confirmation hearing, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is unlikely to be approved for HHS Secretary until later this month.
- Banks Get New Leeway in Valuing Their Assets. Those against the move charge that it may allow banks to over value their bad assets, making them look better than they really are. And it remains to be seen how much bank assets will actually change as a result of the shift by the the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
- Cargill forced to hand over plant in Venezuela The firm will have to hand over the plant due to a decree that became law after its publication in Venezuela's Official Gazette, which was distributed Thursday. Venezuela's president ordered the rice-processing plant be turned over because the company allegedly failed to distribute rice at prices imposed by the government.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "President Obama is giving General Motors 60 days to come up with strategy of viability for the American taxpayers' money. You know what GM should have said? 'Hey, you first.'"
Jay Leno: "President Obama also said if you do buy a new car, you will be able to deduct – that's right, I said deduct -- the sales tax from your income taxes. Or you can just take a job with the White House and not have to pay taxes at all."
David Letterman: "So the United States government is now running General Motors, because if there's anyone who knows anything about streamlining costs, it's the US government, ladies and gentlemen."