Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was down 38.84 points, or 0.4 percent, to 9,225.81.
- The dollar was at 94.16 yen compared to 93.91 late Thursday in New York
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.91, or 1.5 percent, to 8,292.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 32.59, or 1.9 percent, to 1,695.25.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield was up to 3.37 percent from 3.19 percent late Wednesday.
- The dollar was mostly lower against other major currencies, with the euro up 1% to $1.3905.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures favored a weaker tone through the day, although futures saw two-sided trade. Corn closed 1 3/4 to 2 cents lower, finishing mid-range.
- Soybeans: Futures saw a highly choppy day of trade, with early losses met with buying interest. Soybeans closed mostly 3 to 9 cents higher, with meal stronger and soyoil weaker amid spreading and on spillover from crude oil weakness.
- Wheat: Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures favored a weaker tone through the day, finishing 2 to 4 cents lower. Minneapolis ended mixed, with nearbys 1 cent firmer and deferreds marginally lower.
- Cotton: Futures saw choppy trade early, but weakened on spillover from crude oil losses. Cotton closed 16 to 64 points lower, with nearbys leading losses and closing near session lows.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures opened weaker and sharply extended gains in the nearby contracts. Deferreds closed 67 1/2 to 97 1/2 cents lower, with nearbys down $1.20 to $1.60.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade. Live cattle opened weaker and closed 25 to 40 cents higher, which was a near-session-high 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)
- House Panel Clears Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases U.S. Bill Moves a Step Closer, but a Global Deal on Climate Change Presents a Bigger Challenge for Obama Administration The panel cleared the measure Thursday evening and that's seen as a major victory in the climate change battle. However, the measure still faces an uphill battle in the House and potentially even more problems in the Senate.
Energy Groups Urge Faster U.S. Aid for Power, Pollution Projects
- China Looks for Big Cuts in Emissions China has laid down its "marker" on greenhouse gas emissions cuts relative to climate change as the world prepares to come up with a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty which expires in 2012. China's suggested cut of 40% by 2020 is well beyond that in U.S. climate change legislation currently being worked on in Congress.
- BankUnited Fails in Year's Biggest Bust BankUnited became the 34th U.S. bank to go under this year after 25 failed in 2008. And, the situation is expected to cost the FDIC some $4.9 billion, making it second only to IndyMac in terms of the size of bank failure during the current financial crisis.
- China Faces Unexpected Problem Drilling for Oil in Iraq -- Farmers China is running into resistance from local farmers as they try and develop the Ahdeb oil field in Iraq. Local farmers are demanding compensation as they charge the drilling activities have damaged fields, buildings and more.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- GM in Deal With Union as Deadline Approaches A deal which extracted concessions from unions has been reached by GM, with their next efforts focused on getting bondholders to agree to eliminate debt by the deadline set by the government. If they succeed, they may be able to avoid bankruptcy. However, the article says that it seems unlikely 90% of GM bondholders will agree to the deal which will make bankruptcy a more-likely outcome.
- Climate Bill Clears Hurdle, but Others Remain Climate change legislation cleared the first of what will be many hurdles before it will become reality via approval by the House Energy & Commerce Committee on a near-party-line vote. The bill still has several committees, the full House and the Senate to traverse before it can land on President Obama's desk.
- U.S. to Steer GM Toward Bankruptcy Filing Expected as Chrysler Set to Emerge GM could be filing for bankruptcy as early as late next week, according to the report, as the government appears to be pushing the automaker in that direction. Some complain the actions on Chrysler and now potentially GM are coming so fast that perhaps not all factors are being considered.
- House Panel Passes Limit on Greenhouse-Gas Emissions The House Energy & Commerce Committee action still has a ways to go, including specific mention by House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) who has been very vocal about his stance on the package. His panel will also get a chance to consider the legislation.
Climate-Change Bill Hits Some of the Right Notes but Botches the Refrain
- Colombian Farmers Get Broad Incentives To Forgo Coca Crops Colombia is seeking to expand a plan which focuses on providing broad incentives for farmers to stay on the land and grow legal crops instead of coca, including bringing in police and courts, paving roads, improving schools and offering farm aid.
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Rural economy is now 'starting to buckle' An economist with the Kansas City Federal Reserve says that key for the rural economy's future in the wake of the recession is that fiscal and monetary policy must restart the global economy to improve demand for ag products.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Iowa farmland values down 7% in quarter The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported the second consecutive decline in Iowa farmland values, with a 7% decline reported for the Jan.-April period. The number of farms and acres sold and the number of acres up for sale were all below year-ago marks.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Today, president Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney gave speeches on torture. Now, is it me or have we seen more of Dick Cheney in the last week than we did in the past eight years?"
Jay Leno: "I tell you," the "economy's in bad shape. Oh, the economy's hurting; economy is so bad, Joe Biden was outside the White House, selling maps to politicians' secret locations."
Jimmy Kimmel: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been in the news a lot this week, attacking President Obama. For eight years, this Dick Cheney never said two words, now all of a sudden he's like Regis, all over the place. He's been making so many speeches lately I'm starting to think he's not really dead."