Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 112.26 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 12,214.76.
- The dollar bought 107.50 yen.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 164.79 points, or 1.5 percent, at 11,433.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.3 percent, or 29.52 points, to close at 2,258.22.
- The 2-year Treasury note gained 1/32 to yield 2.2.187 percent. The 10-year note rose 2/32 to yield 3.630 percent.
- The dollar traded at 106.60, down from 107.57 yen, while the euro fell to $1.3937, compared to $1.4022 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Spread unwinding helped September corn futures hold fractional gains into the close while back-month futures ended mostly 2 to 5 cents lower with December futures down 4 3/4 cents on the closing bell.
- Soybeans: Front-month bean futures ended 33 1/2 cents higher Thursday while most other contracts finished 2 to 4 cents lower.
- Wheat: Futures ended narrowly mixed as the market searched for direction from the corn and soybean markets.
- Cotton: Futures were slightly mixed on the close following a day with a narrow trading range that saw a mid-range close.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed mixed with the front three contracts 50 cents to $1.12 higher and back-month futures slightly lower.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures posted another new for-the-move low before recovering to close slightly higher in the nearby contracts.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Lehman Races to Find a Buyer The Federal Reserve & Treasury Dept. have been working with Lehman to help resolve the firm's troubles and expectations any potential buyer will seek help from the government as well to shield them from further losses -- much like was done with Bear Stearns earlier this year. Some also speculate the firm could be sold for less than its stock value.
- Ike Bears Down on Houston Area Ports, Plants Stand In Hurricane's Path; Evacuations Ordered Hurricane Ike is forecast to reach category 3 status by the time it makes landfall Saturday morning near Houston, putting the shipping and chemical complex of Houston at risk. And, expectations are Ike could be even larger than Katrina.
- Credit Crisis Strains Government's Options. Government options to address the current financial market situation are lessening, raising questions about why current efforts haven't produced more results and how many more policy levers are there left for the government to pull.
U.S. Reaffirms Backing Of Fannie, Freddie Stock
Housing-Price Economist Sees Market as Near Bottom
Economic Woes Seen Greeting President
- Exports Keep Driving U.S. Growth Trade Gap Widened In July as Oil Prices Soared to New Highs Oil prices surging to new highs helped to widen the trade deficit in July despite continued strong performance of U.S. exports. However, with oil prices now down about a third from their peak, some expect the trade gap will narrow for the rest of the year.
- Senate Panel Leaders Offer Energy Tax Plan. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have offered up an energy tax plan that would put in place tax credits for investors in renewable energy sources and be paid for by new taxes on the oil and natural-gas industry. But it faces an uncertain future in Congress.
- Palin, on TV, Says U.S. Should Defend Its Allies. The focus continues on the Alaska governor as she gave her first major interview since being tapped as the Republican vice presidential nominee.
Palin Energizes GOP Hopefuls
- Chávez Orders Ambassador Back to U.S.. Venezuela's leader said he was taking the move in solidarity with Bolivia who also this week expelled its U.S. ambassador.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- U.S. Helps Lehman Go Up for Sale Regulators Are Seeking a Weekend Deal Not Involving Public Money The Federal Reserve and Treasury Dept. are working to help Lehman put itself up for sale in the hopes that the deal can be accomplished without public money. Options could include multiple suitors acquiring different pieces of the firm.
- Md. Gets Tough on Chicken Farmers Quest to Help Bay Would Stringently Control Manure The rules to be announced today would limit where, how and for how long chicken farmers may store excess manure in outdoor piles, and would for the first time would allow state officials to inspect poultry farms unannounced.
- Venezuela Joins Bolivia in Expelling U.S. Ambassador Venezuela said it was taking the action out of solidarity with Bolivia and is another jab at the United States.
- Speculators Did Not Raise Oil Prices, Regulator Says. The CFTC report unveiled yesterday did not set well with some lawmakers who charge the CFTC is alone in its view.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "And how about that Barack Obama?” They are "saying for the first time he's starting to slip in the polls,” but "don't worry. He's got a plan. He's going to go back to campaigning in Europe.”
David Letterman: "When Sarah Palin and John McCain make an appearance together, there's always a brief hug,” but "no kissing. … It's just like Bill and Hillary.”
David Letterman: "Reporters asked” Sarah Palin "if she could ever be president and commander-in-chief,” and she "said, ‘Ya, sure, you betcha!'”