Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 246.76 points, or 2.6 percent, to 9,093.73.
- The dollar was at 95.50 yen from 95.36 yen.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 184.22, or 2.2 percent, to 8,284.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 51.73, or 3 percent, to 1,664.19.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield was down to 3.12 percent from 3.18 percent late Tuesday.
- The dollar was at was at 95.28 yen from 96.47 yen, while the euro was at $1.3583 from $1.3640 late Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures closed steady to 1 cent higher in most contracts, in the middle of the day's range.
- Soybeans: Futures saw two-sided trade, but saw upward momentum into the close. Futures closed 1 to 10 1/2 cents higher, with nearbys leading gains.
- Wheat: Futures saw a choppy day of trade, with Chicago and Minneapolis futures closing around 3 to 4 cents lower in most contracts, while Minneapolis closed mixed.
- Cotton: Futures posted sharp losses and close near session lows.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures favored a weaker tone through the day, closing $97 1/2 to $1.47 1/2 cents lower in all but the May contract, which closed 17 1/2 cents lower.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed under pressure and finished near session lows. Feeder cattle finished steady to slightly lower.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Conoco Suspends Collaboration With Tyson to Make Diesel Fuel The cut in half of tax credits for making biodiesel that helped spur the project in the first place have prompted the oil company to pull out of the joint venture. A spokesman for Tyson noted the company is still going forward with the construction of a biofuels plant near Baton Rouge, La., that is expected to open in early 2010 and with a capacity of 75 million gallons a year.
- U.S. Moves to Regulate Derivatives Trade Geithner Lays Out Plans of Framework for Multitrillion-Dollar Market; Agency Consolidation? New rules on derivatives outlined by regulators include authority for them to force many standard over-the-counter derivatives to be traded on regulated exchanges and electronic-trading platforms, to require firms with large derivatives exposure to report more information and all standardized derivatives would have to go through clearinghouses that will guarantee trades and help cushion the impact of a collapse of a large financial institution. Further, a plan to "simplify" which agencies oversee futures markets will come soon.
New Finance Rules Have Potential to Alter the Path of Global Trade
- Whole Foods Sees 'Significant' Deflation in Fresh Produce The organic food market reported fiscal second-quarter profit dropped 32% on declining sales and margins.
- Worries About Economy Weigh on Loan Demand . Lenders are signaling that while they have funds to lend, consumer demand for loans has declined as more consumers are seeking to reduced and/or eliminate their debt loads.
Retail Sales Stall on Consumer Caution
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Obama Urges Rules on Investments Tied to Crisis For ag-related interests, the letter sent by the administration conveying their ideas suggested that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would play a leading role in the oversight of the derivatives market, although it would also leave important elements to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Rising Calls to Regulate California Groundwater California farmers say they'll continue to fight efforts to limit the amount of groundwater they can pump to feed crops.
- House Panel Nears Agreement on Energy and Climate Bill The item largely recaps shifts in the climate bill which became known Wednesday as lawmakers seek to move the issue ahead. But a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would only commit to a vote "this year" on climate/energy legislation while issuing a specific timeline for health care votes.
- Slow Start to U.S. Plan for Modifying Mortgages. Data from the administration signals about 55,000 homeowners have been extended loan modification offers so far. This comes as reports noted foreclosures increased substantially in April.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Vilsack stands up for livestock farms USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack countered charges by a lawmaker that U.S. livestock is raised in cramped conditions where animals are "jammed" together. Vilsack said the "vast, vast majority" of livestock producers are very sensitive to animal management issues.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "John Edwards said that he and his wife are getting to a better place. He said that, after he admitted his affair, he...took a long, hard look in the mirror and fell in love all over again."
David Letterman: "How about this? Anybody ever mail anything any more? ... Well, the price of a stamp" is going up to "44 cents." Pretty "soon, it will actually be cheaper and easier to just put a little glue on a dollar bill and stick it to an envelope."
David Letterman: "Anybody see the White House Correspondents' Dinner over the weekend?" Vice President Joe Biden "was funny. ... I mean, not shoot your buddy in the face funny. But he was funny, you know. He did what he could.