Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed down 244.13 points or 1.98% at 12,102.50, a six-month low
- The dollar traded mid 107-yen levels in late Tokyo deals compared to lower 107-yen range late Wednesday.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 38.19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,268.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 18.89 points, or 0.9 percent to 2,228.70.
- The 2-year Treasury note shed 4/32 to yield 2.228 percent. The benchmark 10-year note was off 20/32, yielding 3.646 percent.
- The dollar traded at 107.77 yen, up from 107.11 yen late Tuesday, while the euro fell to $1.4035 from $1.4103.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures posted modest losses for the day, but slipped to fresh session lows ahead of the close.
- Soybeans: Futures opened mixed, but quickly turned lower and extended losses into the close on pressure from outside markets.
- Wheat: Futures remained on the defensive through the day, although contracts moved off session lows into the close.
- Cotton: Futures closed mixed on some light short-covering support given recent sharp losses.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed mixed amid spreading and some short-covering.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 60 cents to $1.12 lower, with nearbys leading losses and posting a low-range 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)
- Lehman Struggles To Shore Up Confidence Plan to Shrink Firm Is Late, Critics Say; Fuld Fights Rumors Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Fuld Jr. has been going to great lengths this week to keep optimism up on the firm as it faces major losses and a deteriorating portfolio of investments.
- Exports Prop Up Local Economies Even as U.S. consumers are becoming wary of the U.S. economy, exports have been a bright spot for many states and that is a situation which has been brought in no small part by the decline in the U.S. dollar.
- House Democrats Expand Proposed Oil, Gas Drilling Election-Year Plan Opens Door to All Of U.S.'s Coastlines House Democratic leaders Wednesday unveiled a broadened plan to open all coastal areas to oil and natural gas drilling, a shift from a plan initially this week that would have allowed the action only off the coast of four states.
- An Expensive Byrd. Editorial. The paper takes Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to task for the Byrd Amendment being responsible for Japan slapping additional import duties on some U.S. products that received compensation under the trade provision.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Report Says Oil Agency Ran Amok An investigation by the Interior Dept. revealed that government officials charged with collecting royalties from oil and gas companies accepted gifts, sex and drugs from the firms in question.
- N. Korea's Kim Said to Be Recovering From Stroke South Detects No Immediate Threat South Korean intelligence officials say it appears North Korea's leader suffered a stroke but that he is still in control of the country while recovering from the event.
- EU Slashes Economic Growth Forecast The EU now expects growth in the 15 nations that use the euro will be only 1.3 percent this year, down 0.4 percentage points from a forecast issued in April.
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Group to sell its share of ethanol plant The Nebraska Energy Cooperative is in the process of dissolving and selling its share of Aurora's ethanol plant to the plant's majority owner -- Aventine Renewable Energy of Pekin, Ill.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Battle simmers over ethanol blending Retailers are pushing state laws intended to ensure that they can still mix ethanol and gasoline themselves rather than buying the blended fuel from refiners. But the refining industry is also challenging some of those state laws.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Everybody in New York City has Fashion Week fever. … As a matter of fact,” the "Statue of Liberty earlier today was wearing a pair of those hip Sarah Palin glasses.”
David Letterman: "John McCain is old.” In fact, he "is so old that his blood type has been discontinued.”
Conan O'Brien: "Experts say…that since Sarah Palin became the vice presidential nominee, there's been an actual spike in the sales of her style of eyeglasses. … Yeah, with…Palin's glasses, you'll be able to see everything, except what the hell your teenage daughter's up to.”
Conan O'Brien: "According to the latest polls, which came out today, John McCain has started to open up a lead over Barack Obama. … The ‘USA Today' poll has McCain ahead by ten points, the ‘CBS News' poll has the two tied, and the MSNBC poll says that Obama won the election last week.”