Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 171.29 points, or 1.9 percent, to 9,265.02.
- The dollar was at 94.87 yen from 96.08.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.43, or 0.6 percent, to 8,331.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 25.02, or 1.5 percent, to 1,689.21.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 3.09 percent from 3.12 percent late Wednesday.
- The dollar was at 95.75 yen from 95.28 yen, while the euro was at $1.3637 from $1.3583 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures didn't stray too far from unchanged, but slightly extended gains into the close to post a high-range finish.
- Soybeans: Futures saw two-sided trade, but strengthened into the close to finish 6 to 19 1/2 cents higher.
- Wheat: Futures opened weaker and were choppy much of the day, with the exception of Minneapolis futures, which quickly found support from spring wheat planting delays.
- Cotton: Futures opened mixed, but weakened to post sharp losses around midday. Futures, however, found some short-covering support into the close and finished marginally higher in all but the October contract, which finished 8 points weaker.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 82 1/2 to $1.27 1/2 lower in all but the May contract, which expired 55 cents higher today at $62.12 1/2. Hogs saw spillover from sharp losses in the pork belly pit.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed steady to 30 cents higher, with feeders up 30 to 75 cents. Futures favored a firmer tone throughout the day, but didn't stray too far from unchanged.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Chrysler Ax Falls Across U.S. Chrysler LLC named 789 dealerships that it plans to shut as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The closure of almost one-quarter of Chrysler's retail stores could eliminate thousands of jobs and will have an impact in a host of areas -- from advertising-dependent businesses who counted on auto dealers for ads and even charity events that saw car dealers as key sponsors.
GM Nears Crucial Deal With UAW
Germany Considers Aid to Opel
GMAC Will Change the Name of Its Bank
Europe's Car Market Keeps Shrinking
- Reaction Mixed to Derivative Reforms . Financial companies examining the proposals announced by the Obama administration are mining the information to see where they can potentially profit. Many see it helping smaller firms out and others say it really doesn't get to the root cause of the problem.
- Indiana Says 'No Thanks' to Cap and Trade No honest person thinks this will make a dent in climate change. Opinion item by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. The governor says that Indiana doesn't want any part of the cap and trade situation as they view it as taking their resources to plow them into social services for areas of the country that are struggling. He labels it simply "Imperialism."
- Housing-Rescue Plan Adds 'Short Sales' The housing rescue efforts now allow some options including a 'short sale' where the seller sells the home for less than what is owed with the permission of the lender. This and other options are seen potentially helping thousands of homeowners.
- Economists Foresee Protracted Recovery The WSJ's latest survey of some 52 economists revealed the following: They see the recession ending in August. They expect gross domestic product to contract 1.4% at a seasonally adjusted annualized pace in the current quarter, compared with the 6.1% drop recorded in the first quarter. Slow growth is expected to return by the third quarter, with the economy expanding more than 2% in the first half of 2010.
Europe's Social Benefits Are at Risk
- Health Costs Are the Real Deficit Threat That's why President Obama is making health-care reform a priority Opinion item by OMB Director Peter Orszag. . The OMB chief points out figures released this week that health care costs could balloon to 20% of GDP from 5% now. He says there are "significant opportunities to reduce health-care costs over time without impairing the quality of care or outcomes." The four keys he sees are health information technology, research, prevention and wellness and changes in financial incentives to providers.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Food Companies Try, But Can't Guarantee Safety. With supply chains for ingredients in food products becoming more global, it's making it more and more difficult for food companies to be certain of the food safety of their products. In some cases, they're putting more burden on consumers to take steps in the final handling/prep of the product.
- Swine Flu Not an Accident From a Lab, WHO Says WHO officials are trying to counter a claim that was started which suggests the H1N1 flu virus situation was started in a lab. It also notes Smithfield Foods related that Mexican officials have not found the H1N1 virus in the Mexican hog operation some have blamed for the origin of the outbreak.
- Chrysler Plans to Shut 1 in 4 of Its U.S. Dealers GM is also expected to notify some 1,600 dealers today that they will not see their dealership agreements renewed in October. The National Automobile Dealers Association has estimated that all the dealership closings, including ones already announced by G.M. and Chrysler, represent 187,000 jobs, more than the number of people who work for the two car companies in the United States.
- Trade Wars Launched With Ruses, End Runs Outrage in Canada as U.S. Firms Sever Ties To Obey Stimulus Rules Some of the effects of the "buy American" provisions in the economic stimulus package are starting to show with some Canadian products being removed from projects and American ones inserted in their place. Canada has now struck back, opting to bar U.S. firms from municipal projects there.
- Chrysler Pulls Out of Hundreds of Franchises More Than a Dozen Showrooms in Washington and Scores Across the Nation Lose a Mainstay, Leaving Dealership Owners and Employees Rattled Chrysler slashed 789 of its 3,181 dealers yesterday, including more than a dozen in the Washington area.
GM Dealers Left to Wait Out News
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Do you remember...the old guy who was running for president? John McCain. Remember him? And the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Remember Sarah Palin? That was a lot of fun, wasn't it? Well, guess what? Sarah Palin has got a deal to write her memoir. Got a deal to write her memoir, yup. I believe it's titled, 'The Book to Nowhere.'"
David Letterman: "Well, here's what I've heard from Washington. The Republicans are downhearted. They're disenchanted and they're worried now, the Republicans, because they're out of office, they're out of power. The Republicans are worried that the image of the Republican Party is downbeat and angry. ... And I was thinking, well if you ask me, honestly, all the fun went out of the Republican Party when Arlen Specter left. Are you like me, do you kind of feel, all right, the party's over!"
Craig Ferguson: "Last night, President Obama hosted a poetry slam at the White House. ... A poetry slam is when...poets stand up and read poems. They try and outdo each other. And things can get out of control. Apparently, last night, one person got up on stage and rambled on and on and didn't make any sense. And then, when Joe Biden was done, they started the poetry."