Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended the day 2.1 percent, or 282.22 points, lower at 13,094.59.
- The dollar gained
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 205.67 points, or 1.8 percent, to end at 11,378.02 -- up 0.2 percent for July, its first monthly gain since April. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, or 4.15 points, to close at 2,325.55 -- up 1.4 percent for July.
- The 2-year Treasury note gained 8/32 to yield 2.516 percent. The benchmark 10-year note gained 26/32 to yield 3.948 percent.
- The dollar traded at 107.89 yen, down from 108.08 yen, while the euro was at $1.5599, up from $1.5576 the day earlier.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures opened slightly lower, but sharply extended losses into the close to finish 12 1/2 to 14 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures saw a choppy day of trade before finishing narrowly mixed.
- Wheat: Futures saw a choppy day of trade, but didn't shy too far away from unchanged.
- Cotton: Futures closed slightly higher after a very narrowly traded session.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 60 cents to $1.80 higher, although that was off session highs.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a mixed start, but then firmed. Live cattle closed 5 cents to $1.12 higher, with feeder cattle $1.07 to $1.80 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)
- Brazilian Beef Clan Goes Global As Troubles Hit Market The item profiles Brazilian (and U.S.) beef packer JBS and after completing several pending business deals, it will own operations in 22 countries.
- Exports, Stimulus Plan Prop Up Economy GDP Rose 1.9% In Second Quarter, But Job Woes Loom Stocks ended a two-day rally as the government reported the U.S. economy grew at a 1.9% pace in the second quarter. First quarter growth was revised downward and fourth quarter 2007 performance was revised to a decline of 0.2 percent, suggesting a recession may have started then.
Growth Bounce Editorial
- Congress Uses Summer Break To Debate Oil Republicans and Democrats are jockeying for position on the issue of energy, having departed for the August congressional recess without passing some kind of legislation to address energy prices.
Pelosi's Energy Stonewall Editorial. Exporters shipped 13,937 tonnes of U.S. beef last week, said USDA, the largest one-week total since 14,773 tonnes in the week ending Nov. 20, 2003, a month before the first U.S. case of BSE was reported.
- Medvedev Moves to Calm Markets Russian Regulators Get Warning in Sign Of Break With Putin. The new Russian leader called for authorities to build a better climate for businesses in Russia and to not be harassing businesses.
- Hank Paulson's Fannie Gamble. Opinion item by Lawrence Lindsey, former assistant to the president for economic policy, is president and CEO of the Lindsey Group. The writer argues that the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by any other country would have had major consequences. He also predicts another housing bailout package will probably come next year.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- More Arrows Seen Pointing to a Recession The item looks at GDP data issued Thursday and previews the Employment Report due out this morning. Many observers are starting to conclude that the U.S. economy is in a downturn.
Profit Data May Explain U.S. Gloom
- Medvedev Pledges Fight Against Graft in Business The Russian leader announced the government will focus on rooting out graft in businesses, with a plan that focuses on increased enforcement and more disclosure of officials' personal finances.
- The Cost of Oil Subsidies. Editorial. The paper notes subsidies on oil/gasoline in other countries are not prompting consumer to cut back on their energy usage, keeping oil prices high.
- ‘The Jungle,' Again. Editorial. The paper likens the conditions at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, to the conditions made infamous in the Upton Sinclair book about the meat packing industry in the early part of the last century.
- Fed Fears Wage Spiral That Is Little in Evidence The wage-price spiral that drove inflation in the 1970s is being watched for by policymakers, but so far it has not materialized based on the latest economic data.
- Hard Line at WTO Earns Indian Praise India's trade minister has received praise for his hardline stance taken at the Doha Round WTO talks in Geneva which ended without a deal.
- Alaska's Stevens Pleads Not Guilty Senator Is Granted Pre-Election Trial Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens will get a trial before the Nov. elections on charges he hid gifts and falsified records.
- Economy Grows on Impact of Stimulus Troubles Expected As Effect Wears Off While the economic stimulus checks issued earlier this year appear to have helped the U.S. economy in the second quarter, many fear that the data will turn down again once the impact of those dollars disappears.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "I guess you've heard” that Barack Obama was "elected chancellor of Germany.”
Jay Leno: "As you know, yesterday, Barack Obama was in the Fatherland,” while "John McCain was in Grandfather Land.”
Jay Leno: "No, Barack Obama is in France today. And again, McCain doing everything to compete with him. Like today, he ordered the french toast combo at IHOP.”
Jay Leno: "You can tell the French are still a little gun shy. After speaking in front of 200,000 Germans yesterday, when Obama arrived in France today, they said, ‘You came alone, right?'”
Jay Leno: "And Barack Obama landed in London just about an hour ago. … And to prepare for his visit to England, he didn't brush his teeth for four days.”
Jay Leno: "Did you hear about the Dalai Lama?” He had a near-death experience today” when he "met with John McCain.”
Jay Leno: "If you believe there are two Americas, then John Edwards is in trouble in both of them.”
Jay Leno: "The mainstream media now starting to report a story that…John Edwards was caught leaving his girlfriend's hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel at 2:00 in the morning.” If "this story turns out to be true, there go” Edwards' "chances of becoming vice president. He could still be governor of New York,” though.
Jay Leno: "Well, yesterday, Federal immigration officials arrested 43 illegal immigrants from Mexico in Hawaii! … How lost were they? Boy!”
Jay Leno: "And today, President Bush called for building a fence around Hawaii.” Jay Leno: "And in Puerto Rico, it is Constitution Day. … So that's where the Constitution went.”
Jay Leno: "And the Coast Guard closed over 100 miles of the Mississippi River after an oil spill of over 400,000 gallons of oil. The Federal government leaped into action…within 30 minutes of the spill. … How does this make the people of New Orleans feel, huh? They get wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, it takes FEMA, what, six days to show up? A barrel of oil spills, the White House goes, ‘No!' And they're down there.”
Jay Leno: "Earlier this week, in London, an environmental protester tried to glue himself to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. … See, we don't do that here. You want to get close to a politician here, you want him to stick, you need cash” and "lots of” it.
Jay Leno: "And the city of Los Angeles has voted to ban all plastic bags starting in 2010,” which "is kind of ironic. So, if you're caught with marijuana, the pot is fine, but if it's in a plastic bag,” you are in trouble.
Jay Leno: "And during his concert in New York City, George Michael advised Barack Obama to pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate. … Obama responded by saying he appreciated Michael's advice, but he's still waiting to hear from Boy George.”