CFTC Charges Firm With Oil Price Manipulation

July 24, 2008 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 268.55 points, or 2 percent, to close at 13,334.76.

  • The dollar fell below ¥107 in Japanese trade.

Thursday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 283.10 points, off 2.4 percent, at 11349.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2 percent, or 45.77 points, to 2,280.11
  • The 2-year Treasury note gained 10/32 to yield 2.645 percent. The benchmark 10-year note gained 25/32 to yield 4.022 percent. The 30-year bond rose a full point to yield 4.612 percent.

  • The dollar traded at 107.25 yen, compared with 107.86, while the euro bought $1.5685, compared with $1.5690 late Wednesday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures opened higher, dropped below unchanged and then rebounded to close 1 to 2 cents higher in all but the 2009-crop contracts.
  • Soybeans: Futures ended another day to the downside with August futures 9 1/4 cents lower and November beans down 11 cents.

  • Wheat: Futures closed 3 to 4 cents higher, while Kansas City wheat was 3 to 6 cents higher. Minneapolis wheat closed mixed.
  • Cotton: Futures settled moderately higher and in the upper end of Thursday's trading range.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures rallied late for a session-high close. Futures ended sharply higher in the August and October contracts; far-deferred futures closed slightly higher.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed with a mixed tone following a light and choppy day of trade.

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)






July 21

Grain Inspections (A)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Catfish Processing (N)
Season-Average Price Forecasts(E)
Crop Progress (N)


Chickens and Eggs (N)
Cold Storage (N)
Feed Grains Database (E)
Wheat Data (E)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Citrus: World Markets and Trade (F)
Orange Juice: World Markets and Trade (F)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)

Catfish production.
Cattle (N)
Sheep and Goats (N)
Cattle on Feed (N)
Peanut Prices (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (E)

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)

  • Ford Suffers Record Loss As Oil Shock Hits Industry. Ford reported and $8.7 billion loss in its second quarter and reiterated it will focus its production efforts on smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Most of the loss -- $5.3 billion -- was due to non-cash charges reflecting the drop in value of plants and equipment for making trucks. It is planning to bring some of the smaller models it current sells in Europe to the U.S. market.
  • Amid Turmoil, U.S. Turns Away From Decades of Deregulation More regulation of certain industries is coming into play, reversing the trend of the last quarter Century of deregulation which started via the "Reagan Revolution."
    Related item:
    SEC, Fed Stake Turf on Oversight
    Fund Charged in Oil-Price Case

  • Energy Is Top Economic Issue for Voters Conservation Steps Increase, Poll Finds; Support for Drilling Energy costs are one of the main issues for voters as the November elections approach, and the WSJ/NBC News poll indicates that voters think Democrats will do a better job than Republicans at addressing the issue. However, the margin has narrowed considerably in recent weeks.
  • Agribusiness Group Forms To Protect Ethanol Subsidies The Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy is a coalition of major agribusiness firms with a focus that renewable fuels won't cut into food supplies if new technologies like biotech crops are used to their fullest. The group is also working hard to protect government subsidies for ethanol production.
  • Indian Minister Frustrates West At Trade Talks Kamal Nath Invokes 'Millions of Poor' In Criticizing U.S. This week's Geneva-based Doha Round trade talks have not seen much movement, and have resulted in WTO leaders gathering just a small group of countries -- U.S., the European Union, China, Brazil, Australia, Japan and India -- in hopes of inking a deal.
  • On China Farms, Push For Consolidation Is Growing Trend Could Help Slow the Increase In Prices for Food. It seems another wave of change is starting in Chinese agriculture as new larger farms are on the horizon, but they are not the old collective farms.
  • Tomato Industry Seeks Compensation. Legislation has been introduced to provide tomato producers with $100 million in the wake of the salmonella outbreak which removed tomatoes from restaurants and store shelves in some cases.
  • The Fan/Fred Bailout Is a Scandal Commentary item by former Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas). The writer compares the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout situation as "Enron on steroids."

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • CFTC Charges Firm With Manipulating Oil Prices Agency Under Pressure to Rein In Trading CFTC officials said Optiver traders used this scheme over 11 days in March 2007 to influence the price of several benchmark energy commodities.
  • Spill Forces Ships to Anchor Long Stretch of Mississippi Closed for Attempted Oil Cleanup The closure affects 100 miles of the River and could last for a few days; cleanup efforts could take weeks.
  • In Surprise Move, EPA Bans Carbofuran Residue on Food EPA said it would no longer allow residue of the toxic pesticide carbofuran on domestic or imported food. The move would affect less than 1% of farmed land in the United States.
  • No Drilling, No Vote Speaker Pelosi won't let the House debate the merits of offshore drilling. Editorial. The paper argues that if opponents to offshore drilling have the votes to block such an effort, why not hold a vote.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Sometimes when president Bush speaks, he does not use the best choice of words. You know? Like, today, he said the financial institutions are basically sound, and you can take that to the bank.”

Jay Leno: "In his press conference yesterday, President Bush said, ‘I don't have a magic wand.' Like a magic wand is the answer? Is that the answer?”

Jay Leno: "Let me tell you something, okay -- the last President allegedly had a magic wand. You saw how much trouble he got into.”

Jay Leno: "Analysts say they're not sure why oil prices are falling. But today Dick Cheney vowed to get to the bottom of this. ‘Heads will roll!'”

Jay Leno: "It was this week in 1790, Washington, DC was named the capital of the United States. Yeah. See, a special district for the government had to be created because every other city in America said, ‘Ew, we don't want a bunch of congressmen in our town.'”

Jay Leno: "Today is the 106th anniversary of the invention of air conditioning, or as President Bush calls it, ‘The solution to global warming.'”

David Letterman: "Yesterday down in the White House lawn President Bush and all the boys” got "together and had a T-ball game. … And the T-ball, they had really great time. Everything was going well until Vice President Cheney water boarded the umpire.”

Conan O'Brien: "Reporters assigned to Barack Obama say that this whole week, Obama has been working out like crazy at a gym. He's also been playing hours of basketball. Yeah. Meanwhile, John McCain has joined a group of mall walkers.”

Conan O'Brien: "Barack Obama is planning a trip to visit Iraq and several other Middle East countries. Yeah. Obama says he is excited about the trip, mainly because he's looking forward to meeting other people named Barack Obama.”

Conan O'Brien: "Ralph Nader announced that he is certified to be on the presidential ballot in 12 states. Yeah. However, doctors say that Nader is certifiable in all 50 states.”

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