Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.5 percent, or 62.98 points, to close at 13,481.38.
- The dollar bought 105.15 yen compared to 106.12 late Friday.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 106.91 points, off 0.9 percent, at 11,346.51 -- off 19.9 percent from its record close in October and 14.5 percent for the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.2 percent, or 5.74 points, to 2,315.63 -- down 12.7 percent on the year and down 19 percent from its 2007 high.
- The 10-year Treasury note gained 16/32 to yield 3.967 percent. The 30-year bond rose 1-8/32 to yield 4.520 percent.
- The dollar was at 106.16 yen from 106.69 yen, while the euro bought $1.5790, up from $1.5764 late Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures ended mixed with a slight downside bias Friday.
- Soybeans: Futures rallied last week to challenge contract highs, while new-crop beans posted new highs.
- Wheat: Futures were hit with profit-taking pressure Friday.
- Cotton: Futures posted losses Friday, but were higher for the week.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted sharp losses for the week as traders prepared for the Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures posted sharp to near-limit gains Friday to close out a week that featured strong price gains and new contract highs.
||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's Export Machine Threatened by Rising Costs Orders Drop, Shops Idle in Sweater City; Losing Wal-Mart Rising prices for raw materials, energy costs, a rising yuan and other factors are starting to affect the export competitiveness of some China industries.
Chinese Inflation Predicted to Slow
- Fed's Priority Is Likely to Be Oil-Price Shock. The Fed's focus is likely to shift to controlling the impacts of high oil prices on the economy, many observers believe in the wake of oil's run to $140 per barrel.
- White House Blocks EPA Emissions Draft Fight Tests Reach Of Clean Air Act, Agency's Autonomy The battle is brewing over an EPA plan on emissions which outlines how the government could regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from mobile sources such as cars, trucks, trains, planes and boats, and from stationary sources such as power stations, chemical plants and refineries.
- African Farms Draw More Private Investors More investment is being seen into Africa's production agriculture sector, but still that lags behind many other areas where dollar flow into the region.
- Betting on a Biofuel Biobutanol has several advantages over ethanol. And one big disadvantage. NOTE: Item is from a special section in the paper on energy. Biobutanol still costs more to produce than corn-based ethanol, although some chemical firms like DuPont are counting on finding a way to make the fuel cheaper.
- Honestly, I Had No Clue One Senator Had Such Power. Letter to the editor by former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas). The senator takes exception with a bit of humor to what he says are charges by the Obama campaign that Gramm essentially is one of the factors in current high oil prices.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Beef Protest Turns Violent in South Korea. Korean police have tried to block off public places which have served as gathering points for protests against imports of U.S. beef, but with mixed results as there have been injuries suffered by both protesters and police.
- Solution, or Mess? A Milk Jug for a Green Earth A new, less-costly milk jug is not getting rave reviews from consumers despite it being cheaper and easier to ship.
- Hoarding Nations Drive Food Costs Ever Higher Nearly 30 countries around the world have enacted limits on exports in order to provide for their citizens, but the moves are having negative impacts on food importing countries and international aid providers.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- The meat men The item looks at the business run by two brothers as they produce naturally grown beef -- raised without grain.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "The Mets fired their manager, Willie Randolph,” at "3:00 a.m. in the morning. 3:00 A.M. … How cruel is that? You know who made the 3:00 a.m. call? Hillary Clinton.”
Jay Leno: "And Barack Obama says that he will visit Iraq, or as John McCain still calls it, Mesopotamia.”
Jay Leno: "No, Barack Obama announced this week he'll visit Iraq and Afghanistan before the election in November. He said he wants to see an area that's been overrun by violent extremists. So sounds like he already misses his old church.”
Jay Leno: "At the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Al Gore endorsed Barack Obama. And a number of women fainted during Barack's speech,” but not "from the speech. It's just Al Gore turned the air conditioning down. You know, global warming.”
Jay Leno: "Well, a new poll shows that less than one out of four Americans now think President Bush is doing a good job. … That means when President Bush is having dinner with his wife and two daughters, he's the only one at the table that thinks he's doing a good job.”
Jay Leno: "And President Bush says he plans to publish a book once he leaves the White House. We have an advanced copy here. This won't be out till January. It's ‘Iraq On $100 Million A Day.' It's a travel book.”
Jay Leno: "Well, as you know, gay marriage now legal here in California. … Well, you know who I feel sorry for now in Los Angeles? Single women. I mean, now all the good men are married and gay.”