Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 498.43 points, or 5.8 percent, to 9,081.43.
- The dollar bought 99.15 yen.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 248.02, or 2.85 percent, to 8,943.81 -- down 4.1 percent for the week and down six out of the last eight weeks. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 38.70, or 2.41 percent, to 1,647.40 -- down 4.3 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note was 18/32 lower in price for a yield of 3.76 percent from 3.69 percent late on Thursday, while 2-year notes were 3/32 lower for a yield of 1.33 percent from 1.28 percent.
- The dollar was at 98.31 yen from 97.75 yen, while the euro was at $1.2763 from $1.2685 late Thursday
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures closed slightly lower after a firmer open, finishing just off the weekly low.
- Soybeans: Futures closed out another week of back-and-forth price action mostly 14 to 15 cents higher.
- Wheat: Chicago wheat futures finished slightly lower in most contracts, while Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat were firmer.
- Cotton: Futures posted fresh contract lows to finish the week, with bearish momentum feeding on itself throughout the week.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished higher on short-covering.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw some short-covering to end the week, with February cattle finishing about 70 cents below the prior week's close.
||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 Sets Big Stimulus Plan In Bid to Jump-Start Growth China unveiled a $586 billion stimulus plan, the latest sign their high-flying economy is in trouble. The plan is about 16% of China's economic output last year, and is roughly equal to the total of all central and local government spending in 2006. While China's financial system is still said to be sound, export-related industries are already feeling the pinch of downturns in other economies.
Nations Strive for Unity on Financial Crisis
South Korea and Taiwan Cut Key Rates
Chinese Laborers Face Grim Job Search
Death Knell of Decoupling Rings Hollow
- U.S. Throws New Lifeline to AIG, Scrapping Original Rescue Deal The U.S. has replaced the original $123 billion package and replaced it with a $150 billion plan. The new plan is comprised of a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion preferred-stock investment and $50 billion in capital largely to purchase distressed assets which are to be placed into two separate financing entities. Some say the plan could irritate some lawmakers. Details of the plan are expected today.
- Paulson, Bernanke Strained for Consensus in Bailout The item traces back the roots of the shift in stance by the Fed and Treasury on the need for a bailout plan.
Hoover-Era Law Was Behind Fed-Treasury Debates
Bailout Bill Provided Tech Workers With Tax Relief for Stock Options
- Rift Over Key Committee Post Threatens To Distract Democrats From Agenda. The battle brewing over control of the House Energy & Commerce Committee which has seen Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) in the top Democratic post on the panel for 28 years, threatens to toss some unwanted drama into the current political situation in Washington.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- China Unveils Sweeping Plan for Economy The two-year plan would construct new railways, subways and airports and to rebuild communities devastated by an earthquake in the southwest in May -- some $18 billion is targeted for the final quarter of this year. It's not clear how much of an increase the package from what China would normally spend on infrastructure efforts.
- A.I.G. May Get More in Bailout The new plan which may be unveiled today is drawn from the $700 billion rescue plan and would replace the package initially put in place to rescue the insurer. The new plan would also see the government become a long-term investor in the firm.
- Obama Weighs Quick Undoing of Bush Policy. The focus is on reversing executive orders on things like stem-cell research and drilling on some federal lands.
What Direction Should Obama Seek? Letter to the editor.
Will Obama's Congress Be Too Friendly? Editorial
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- California livestock vote raises fear in Iowa Farming interests in Iowa contributed about $300,000 to try and defeat Proposition 2 in California and fear that those pushing the measure will seek to expand the reach of the plan to other states, including Iowa. The Humane Society of the U.S. spent more than $4 million to get the measure through.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Been a lot of stories from Germany about how America has come to terms with its past and is beginning to make up for it. Now look. I know our country is not perfect, but we do a pretty good job working on our problems. Do we need a lecture from Germany? I mean, hey, when they elect a Jewish chancellor, give me a call. Okay?"
Jay Leno: "Everybody is speculating now what the future of the GOP will be. GOP now stands for, of course, 'Gang up On Palin.'"
Jay Leno: "Hey, did you see this story in 'Newsweek' this week? One of the things they complained about is that when some campaign staffers went up to Sarah Palin's hotel room to talk to her, she answered the door wearing nothing but a towel. Have you heard this? Apparently, some of the guys on the campaign staff complained. Yeah, yeah, the ones it didn't happen to."