Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 188.09 points, or 1.3 percent, to 13,942.08.
- The dollar bought 107.90, compared with ¥107.98 late Thursday in New York.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 34.03 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 12,063.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.3 percent, or 32.36 points, at 2,462.07.
- The 2-year Treasury note was off 5/32, yielding 2.941 percent. The benchmark 10-year note fell 13/32 to yield 4.194 percent. The 30-year bond was down 12/32, yielding 4.746 percent.
- The dollar traded at 107.97 yen from 107.82 yen, while the euro was at $1.5502 from $1.5531 Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures ended sharply lower, but came well off session lows into the close.
- Soybeans: Futures posted double-digit losses, but finished well off session lows.
- Wheat: Futures were under pressure throughout the session. Chicago wheat closed 20-plus cents lower.
- Cotton: Futures faced heavy selling pressure, largely from outside markets Thursday and closed sharply lower.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted moderate losses in most contracts and a low-range close.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures moderately to sharply lower in most contracts, although August live cattle closed slightly lower.
||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 Lifts Fuel Prices, And Oil Falls in Response China announced its biggest change in fuel prices in four years, raising the price of gasoline 17% and diesel 18%, according to the article. Oil futures fell in response and many Asian stock markets also slipped lower. The item also suggests that some in the fuel industry in China were expecting a move like this and had stockpiled some supplies.
- Hog Farmers Face a Perfect Storm Stoked by Floods, Feed Costs Create A 'Dire' Situation Some hog producers have been selling hogs at a loss due to high corn prices. The Midwest floods have put further pressure on the industry, the article notes.
- South Korea's Lee Vows Changes After Flap Over U.S. Beef. South Korea's president vowed to shift things within his administration in the wake of the public protests over the beef deal reached with the U.S. in April.
- Bush, McCain Tour Flood Sites Separately President Bush was in Iowa Thursday to stress that the government was responding to flood victims' needs and that aid would help smaller communities. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also toured flood areas separate from the President's trip, but came under criticism from some officials.
- States Feel the Pinch From U.S. Slowdown. A report released by states Thursday indicates they will increase spending by 1% compared to last year, but several states said they were cutting spending as economic conditions worsen.
- The 'Idle' Oil Field Fallacy. Commentary item by Red Cavaney, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. The writer argues that oil companies are more than likely exploring for oil on federal lands even when the lands are considered "idle" as they are not currently producing oil from the areas.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- China Sharply Raises Energy Prices Some argue the price increases could actually spur refiners in China to churn out more fuel as opposed to reducing demand as many think the effort was aimed at.
- The Trouble With Markets for Carbon As the U.S. moves toward creating a carbon credit market, some point to the EU experience with this and question whether it will indeed reduce emissions. Reports from Europe indicate that carbon emissions are still rising despite the carbon credit market being in place for some three years now.
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Big price gains seen for cereal The item says USDA today will say that this year's increase in the price of cereals, baked goods, sweets and poultry will be higher than it expected a month ago.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "NASA has announced a plan to take a trip to the sun. … So, apparently, the search for bin Laden continues.”
Conan O'Brien: "Well, John McCain just announced he wants to do a series of town hall meetings where he'll meet with the public. That's a good idea, yeah. It's all part of McCain's ‘Speak Up, I Can't Hear You' tour.”
Conan O'Brien: "NASA has announced plans to send a probe to orbit the sun, where it will have to withstand temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah. When he heard about it, President Bush said, ‘Why don't they just go at night?'”
Conan O'Brien: "New study just came out. It says that most computer support workers would take a pay cut to work from home. Yeah. Their exact quote was, ‘We miss living in India.'”
Craig Ferguson: "A new study says the average American can expect to live six months longer than they would have at the time of the last study. … Finally, some good news for John McCain.”
Craig Ferguson: "Apparently Barack Obama is e-mail buddies with Scarlet Johansson. … This is making me question Barack Obama's judgment, though. If he has Scarlet Johansson's e-mail address, why is he wasting time running for president?”
Jimmy Kimmel: "President Bush is in Europe right now, on a tour of Germany, Italy, France, England, and several other countries that hate him.”
Jimmy Kimmel: "I guess it's like a farewell tour for the President before he returns home to kick off his six-month good riddance tour here.” =