Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed up 12.30 points, or 0.1 percent, at 8,755.26.
- The dollar was at 98.68 from 99.35.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 109.44, or 1.4 percent, to 8,029.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.08, or 0.1 percent, to 1,626.80.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield was down to 2.77 percent from 2.79 percent late Tuesday.
- The dollar was at 99.32 yen from 98.86 yen, while the euro was at $1.3222 from $1.3276 late Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures extended losses into the close to finish mostly around 9 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures finished slightly higher in all but the May contract, which was 1 cent lower.
- Wheat: Futures at all three exchanges finished lower. Chicago wheat was mostly around 7 cents lower, Kansas City wheat 2 to 4 cents lower and Minneapolis wheat 2 to 5 cents lower.
- Cotton: Futures saw short-covering support, with futures extending gains into the close amid buy stops being triggered. Futures closed 95 to 121 points higher.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished slightly higher in most contracts, which in the middle to upper end of the day's range.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures trade in positive territory throughout the day, supported by strength in the beef market. Live cattle closed 55 cents to $1.07 1/2 cents higher, with nearbys leading gains.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Prices Post Fall as Firms Woo Customers March consumer prices fell for the first time in 54 years in March, according to the Commerce Dept., although excluding food and energy, consumer prices actually rose in March. The overall decline occurred both on a monthly and a yearly basis. But the Fed's Beige Book also was released and it noted downward pressure prices -- including on wages and salaries.
- China's Growth at Slowest in Almost Two Decades The 6.1% rise in first-quarter gross domestic product -- roughly in line with economists' expectations -- was lower than the 6.8% expansion in the fourth quarter of 2008, and marks a dramatic slowdown from past growth that hit 13% for the full year of 2007. However some signaled they think the country's growth rate will not slip further.
- Lawyers Set to Profit on Lehman Weil Gotshal Asks Bankruptcy Court to Approve Record Quarterly Payout of $55 Million A New York-based law firm has filed a claim in bankruptcy court to collect what a database of bankruptcy fees says is the biggest quarterly fee request made by lawyers representing a bankrupt company.
Bank Checkup Also Tests Regulators
- Obama Calls for Simpler Tax Code Protesters Rally Against the President's Policies in 'Tea Parties' Across the Country On the day most Americans paid their taxes, President Obama noted his policies have lowered taxes for 95% of Americans and he has called on a panel to provide him recommendations by the end of the year on how to simplify the tax code. The item also makes note of tax protests that took place in some areas of the country.
First Couple Reports Income of $2.7 Million
- Tricky Course Lies Ahead for Browner on the Environment. The article says Browner so far has not been the lightning rod for controversy that was expected when she was picked as the White House energy and environment czar, instead opting to listen to lawmakers and have more of a dialogue with them rather than dictating policy direction as many feared.
- GM's Goals for China Require Another Plant. GM said to meet its goal of doubling sales of cars in China in five years it will need to construct another assembly plant.
Daimler to Buy Out Truck-Venture Ally
Several Groups Show Interest in GM's Saturn
- How Much Green Can Growing a Vegetable Garden Save You? The nonprofit National Gardening Association just produced a study -- sponsored by ScottsMiracle-Gro Co. -- that found the average family with a vegetable garden spends just $70 a year on it and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables..
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
- Wheat is mostly unscathed after late spring freeze Extension experts say that it appears the damage from the April 6-7 freeze event probably hurt less wheat than was the case in 2007 and there appears to be less damage to fields as things move north in Kansas.
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Exec says S.D. refinery on track Via Associated Press. Plans to build the first new oil refinery in the U.S. in more than 30 years are still on track despite the economic downturn and slide in oil prices from their meteoric highs.
- Lincoln dairy plant closing; 60 jobs being lost. Dean Foods said it would be closing a dairy plant it currently operates in Lincoln, but didn't give a timeline for its closure.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "I tell you, those Navy SEALs, what incredible marksmen. They shot the three pirates without hitting the captain or any of the parrots that were sitting on the pirates' shoulders.”
Jay Leno: "I tell you this, this Captain Richard Phillips” is a "genuine American hero.” He "allowed himself to be taken hostage to save the lives of his crew. And did you know that this Captain Phillips used to be a cab driver in Boston? In fact, so were half the Somali pirates that kidnapped him.”
Jay Leno: "And speaking of naval heroes, we have” one "on the show here tonight. Senator John McCain. … Let me tell you something,” McCain "knows a thing or two about battling pirates,” because, "as a young man, he led the crew that sank the famous pirate Blackbeard's ship.”
Jay Leno: "Anyway,” US Attorney General Eric Holder "tried to put all this in perspective. He said this is the first act of piracy against the United States literally ‘in hundreds of years.' Well, if you don't count AIG, of course.”
Jay Leno: "Oh, speaking of that, the ‘New York Post' says that Bernard Madoff's wife, Ruth Madoff, may go back to using her maiden name.” But "I don't know if that's going to work” because her "maiden name” is "bin Laden.”
Jay Leno: "President Barack Obama got quite a reception when he was in Europe last week. Did you see while he was visiting Germany, the crowd started chanting, ‘Yes, we can! Yes, we can!' Pretty amazing, a bunch of Germans chanting, ‘Yes, we can,'” but that has got to "make the French a little nervous, huh?”
Jay Leno: "Of course, the big story” is that the "Obamas got their new puppy! How about that, huh? On Fox News, they declared that the dog is a Muslim socialist.”
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama's daughters” are "very smart. They told” him "they will take the same responsibility for the dog that” he "is taking for the economy. That way, if the dog leaves a mess in the White House, it'll be cleaned up by future generations.”
Jay Leno: "Well, look at this. I pick up the paper today,” and according "to a survey on how Americans will spend their” tax returns, "48% say they'll pay debts, 39% will save it, 27% will use it for everyday expenses, 11% will make a major purchase,” and another "11% will use it for vacation. Okay, that adds up to 136%. Okay, there's the problem right there!”