Deflation Fears Pummel Stocks

November 20, 2008 06:00 PM
Snapshot of news and events for today


Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed 

  • The dollar rose to 95.26 yen from 93.79 late Thursday. 

Thursday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 444.99, or 5.56 percent, to 7,552.29 -- its biggest percentage drop since Oct. 22 and lowest close since March 12, 2003. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 70.30, or 5.07 percent, to 1,316.12.
  • The 10-year Treasury note sank to 3.00 percent -- its lowest point since 1958. The 30-year bond's yield fell to 3.46 percent  -- its lowest level since the government started issuing the bond in 1977.

  • The dollar was at was at 94.14 yen from 95.79 yen, while the euro was at $1.2474 from $1.2526 late Wednesday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures gapped lower on the open and slightly extended losses, finishing mostly around 15 cents lower.
  • Soybeans: Futures gapped lower on the open and sharply extended losses, finishing 40-plus cents lower.

  • Wheat: Futures gapped slightly lower on the open and closed near opening levels.
  • Cotton: Futures closed sharply lower, seeing spillover from outside markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted bullish reversals, finishing 87 cents to $1.77 higher.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures opened lower, but turned higher amid short-covering and posted a high-range close.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






Nov. 17

Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (E)
Grain Inspections (A)
Milk Production
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)
Canned Deciduous Fruit: World Markets and Trade (F)
Sugar: World Production, Supply, and Distribution (F)


Meat Price Spreads (E)
Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Feed Grains Database (E)
Wheat Data (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Catfish Processing (N)
Chickens and Eggs (N)
Farm Labor(N)
Cold Storage (N)
Cattle on Feed (N)
Peanut Prices (N)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Citi Weighs Its Options, Including Firm's Sale With its stock plunging -- down 26% on Thursday which was its biggest daily decline ever -- officials with the firm are said to be talking about a range of options that just a few weeks ago most thought would never be on the table, including the firm putting itself up for sale. Their board has a formal meeting set for today to discuss options.
  • Lawmakers Send Big Three Back Home Empty-Handed The big three are to submit plans to Congress by Dec. 2, with the expectation for hearings after that. Some say a totally new plan will have to be drawn up. Some suggest it may involve a smaller amount of money -- $5 billion to $10 billion -- to get the companies into March or April.
    Related items:
    For UAW, Aid Likely to Come With Strings
    Congress Postpones Stimulus Plan to '09

  • Clinton Nomination Is 'On Track' Obama Aide Says Ex-Rival Is Pick for State; Napolitano Tapped for Homeland Security Aides say the nomination of Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) to be Secretary of State is still on track and
  • Florida's Everglades Deal With U.S. Sugar Faces Challenge From New Bid. The Tennessee-based Laurence Group has launched an effort to acquire U.S. Sugar Corp. The article says if the deal is successful, it would prevent a transaction by the South Florida Water Management District to buy nearly all of U.S. Sugar's property and convert much of it back into a natural waterway as part of an environmental restoration of the Florida Everglades.
  • EU Redirects Farm Aid to Businesses as Prices Fall. European Union farm ministers agreed to a plan to redirect farm aid, steering more of its subsidies away from farms for production and toward rural areas. The reform also moves more subsidies in the decoupled direction -- made regardless of what a producer grows.
  • The Waxman Democrats What the coup against Dingell means for business. Review & Outlook item. The item signals this puts control of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the hands of a lawmaker committed to pushing curbs on carbon emissions.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Falling Prices Raise a New Fear: Deflation With consumer prices dropping and oil prices closing at their lowest level since May 2005, the prospect of deflation is beginning to work its way into the market and economic mind set. Others, however, caution that the one-month decline may not be a harbinger of worse things to come unless it continues.
    Related item:
    Financial System Suffers Relapse

  • Obama Team Springs Leaks Rumors Disrupt Plan For Announcing Cabinet Nominees The usually tightly held Obama campaign has not continued as the transition is underway, with several of the president-elect's cabinet picks surfacing before official announcements have been made. Some say it's inevitable given the amount of calls, etc., that must be made to check backgrounds, etc. of potential nominees.
    Related item:
    Transition Can Be Slow Going for Political Appointees

  • Argentina to Nationalize Pension Funds Senate Approves Plan Aimed at Protecting Savings From Global Crisis The country's Senate cleared the plan after backers of the effort successfully argued that the private plan had problems and this was the best way to assure that it kept its value.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

  • Weather vexes soybean farmers Some farmers still have one-third of their soybean crop to harvest yet this season as wet conditions have hampered their ability to get combines through waiting fields.

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

  • Challenging '09 seen for ag producers Participants at this week's Ag Conference at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island heard that they need to have a keen handle on expenses and be ready to lock in lower-priced fuel.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Well, it was just reported a few minutes ago, the new attorney general is going to be Eric Holder. Here's what we know about him. His name is Eric Holder."

Jay Leno: "It's now being reported that Hillary Clinton will accept the position of Secretary of State. That just came out in the news. Actually, this works out...great for the Clintons. While Hillary is concentrating on foreign affairs, Bill can go back to concentrating on domestic affairs."

Jay Leno: "The press is calling...Barack Obama the first wired president because he's very big on e-mails and the Internet and all that kind of stuff. But once he becomes president, he'll have to give up all personal communication devices because of security concerns. So, it looks like America's ready for a black president. We're just not ready for a Blackberry president."

David Letterman: "President Bush is opening up more air space for travel during Thanksgiving. ... You're saying, 'What exactly are you talking about?' I'm talking about air space. You know, like between his ears."

David Letterman: "Barack Obama, like many people, uses" a Blackberry, but the "Secret Service says this is a security hazard," so "they took it away. I'm thinking, well, this is not fair. George Bush, do they let him keep his Gameboy? What's the problem?"

David Letterman: "Barack Obama is putting his team together to take over the Administration. So far, he's got his mother-in-law," who is "going to be living with him," and they are "talking about Hillary for secretary of State. You have your mother-in-law and Hillary Clinton. Sounds like smooth sailing to me."

Craig Ferguson: "Everyone is waiting to see what" Barack Obama has "got planned. We already know his economic plan. It's designed to help small businesses that make under $250,000 a year. You know, like General Motors and Chrysler."

Jimmy Kimmel: "It looks like Hillary Clinton might" be Barack Obama's "Secretary of State." Hillary "went from almost being the President to a secretary. It sounds like somebody needs to watch 'Working Girl' again because that's not how it's supposed to work."

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