Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.6 percent, or 208.34 points, to close at 13,367.79.
- The dollar stood at 108.12 yen, up from ¥108.05 in New York late Tuesday.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a gain of 266.48 points, or 2.4 percent, to 11.397.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 55.40 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2,319.62.
- The 2-year Treasury note was off 4/32, yielding 2.641 percent. The benchmark 10-year note was down 12/32, yielding 4.058 percent. The 30-year bond fell 12/32 to yield 4.633 percent.
- The dollar traded at 108.06 yen, compared to 107.47 yen late Monday, while the euro fell to $1.5591, compared to $1.5743.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures moved off session lows and turned higher in afternoon trade to post double-digit gains and bullish reversals.
- Soybeans: Futures rebounded from sharp losses to close mostly 5 to 16 cents lower, which was near session highs.
- Wheat: Futures closed mostly 3 to 5 cents lower in Chicago, 5 cents lower to 2 1/2 cents higher in Kansas City and steady to 12 cents lower in Minneapolis.
- Cotton: Futures saw another choppy day of trade, but closed firmer and posted a high-range close.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed moderately to sharply lower, but finished well off session lows.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a mixed start but closed 47 to 80 cents higher, with feeders finishing 85 cents to $1.55 higher.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Global Trade Talks Fail As New Giants Flex Muscle India and China are getting most of the blame for the breakdown in Doha Round talks in Geneva, as they sought to provide safeguard protections for some of their ag sectors at significantly higher levels than the U.S. and others were willing to agree to. Some believe this could weaken the WTO effectiveness over the long haul.
Greasing the World Economy Without Doha Editorial.
- SEC Extends Short-Selling Rules Temporary Order Continues Prohibition Covering 19 Financial Stocks Till Aug. 12. The Securities & Exchange Commission has opted to keep its temporary rules in place to prevent short-selling of the stock in some financial firms, but they resisted calls to expand the number of stocks affected by the rules or make the rules permanent.
- Alaska's Sen. Stevens Indicted On Corruption Claims Charges Come Amid Tough Senate Races For Republicans Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Ak.) says he is innocent of the charges and will endeavor to prove that.
The Stevens Indictment Editorial.
- Stimulus Program Is Working To Lift Spending, Study Says Two university researchers say they found that those families receiving the stimulus checks increased their spending on food, drug products and other daily merchandise by 3.5% compared to a family that had not yet received the the funds. They also found the average family spent about 20% of its rebate in the first month after receipt.
- Grassley, Dingell Lead Calls For Overhauling FDA. Two key lawmakers are leading a push to reform the Food and Drug Administration, to give it broad powers to levy fines, order drug recalls and restrict drug-industry advertising. Few see any major overhaul this year, but the stage is set for change in 2009.
FDA's Handling of Salmonella Outbreak Riles Some State Officials
- Dining Chains Shut Doors Bennigan's, Steak and Ale To Liquidate as Glutted Restaurant Industry Shakes Out. As consumers are spending less eating away from home, two restaurant chains shut hundreds of outlets nationwide.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- U.S. Won't Release Land in Conservation Program USDA Sec. Ed Schafer said if conditions change, he could come back and revisit the issue but under current conditions, they are unwilling to waive the penalty for early out on CRP contracts.
- After 7 Years, Talks on Trade Collapse Doha Round negotiators ended their efforts to get a deal in Geneva, despite calls for a deal to help rein in protectionism and bring down agricultural subsidies.
- Energy Prices Are Bright Sliver in Grim Economy The downturn in oil prices is being viewed by some as a positive given the weak U.S. economy. Investors became net sellers in the oil market last week for the first time since mid-February 2007, according to Barclays Capital.
- Senator Charged in Scheme to Hide Oil Firm Gifts. Sen. Stevens has been charged with failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts, and the indictment raises a potential major issue for his re-election this fall.
- Tug of War in Food Marketing to Children. Two studies were released on the topic of marketing food products to children, with a government study finding the industry spent $1.6 billion marketing products to kids, while the food industry released their own study saying progress had been made on this front.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Did you realize that Osama bin Laden had a driver? Well, they caught the guy and they arrested him and he's now on trial.” But this guy "loved working for Osama bin Laden. And maybe you saw him at airports” waiting "for Osama bin Laden. He was the guy holding the sign that said, ‘fanatical whack job.'”
David Letterman: "Barack Obama is” in the Middle East, "and today, he met with the leaders of Israel and Jordan, and not to be outdone, earlier today, John McCain was in the park playing checkers with Ed Koch.”
David Letterman: "But people” in the Middle East "love…Barack Obama, and I think the reason that they love the guy is because…finally,” they have found "a guy that can pronounce Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”
Jimmy Kimmel: "Barack Obama is in the Middle East. He's in Israel today, while poor John McCain was stuck in” the "cold cuts section” of "a supermarket in Pennsylvania.”
Jimmy Kimmel: "Things are not going particularly well for John McCain. He's way behind in the polls and today there was a story that Obama-related merchandise…is outselling John McCain merchandise by a four-to-one margin. Although – and this is important to know -- McCain does still have a very strong lead when it comes to sales of both the McClapper and the McDiaper.”