Snapshot of news and events for today
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 54.35, or 0.6 percent,
to close at 9,344.64 in Tokyo.
- Currencies: Japan’s yen advanced to 130.03 per euro
as of 7:48 a.m. in London, from 130.81 in New York yesterday when it
fell to 131.85, the weakest level since May 13. The dollar rose to $1.3604
per euro from $1.3630. The yen climbed to 95.63 per dollar from 95.97.
Tuesday U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 29.23 points, or
0.3 percent, at 8,474.85.. The Nasdaq Composite Index
rose 2.18 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 1,734.54.
- The 10-year Treasury note: The gap between two- and 10-year
Treasury yields was as wide as 2.360 percentage points at one point
Tuesday, the most since the 2.619 points hit in November and nearing
the August 2003 peak of 2.747 points. The gap ended Tuesday at 2.352
points, as the 10-year note fell 9/32 point, or $2.8125 for every $1,000
invested, to 99 to yield 3.243 percent, while the two-year note rose
1/32 point to 99 31/32, lowering its yield to 0.891 percent. Prices
and yields move inversely.
- Currencies: Late Tuesday in New York, the euro was
at $1.3637 from $1.3553 late Monday. The dollar was at 96.04 Japanese
yen from 96.38 yen. The euro was at 130.97 yen from 130.62 yen. The
U.K. pound was at $1.5489 from $1.5342. The dollar was at 1.1089 Swiss
francs from 1.1142 francs late Monday.
| Ag futures
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures finished 4 to 5 cents higher, which was in the
middle to upper end of today's range.
- Soybeans: Futures were mixed in early trade, but quickly firmed
amid tightening old-crop stocks. Nearby beans closed 14 to 19 1/2 cents
higher, with deferred futures up 6 to 9 cents. Meal and soyoil saw spillover
- Wheat: Futures saw a choppy day of trade, with Chicago and
Kansas City closing marginally to 2 cents lower. Minneapolis finished
mixed, with nearby contracts weaker and deferreds firmer.
- Cotton: Futures finished 88 to 133 points lower, which was
in the lower end of today's range.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 20 to 77 1/2 cents lower,
as traders worked to narrow the premium futures hold to the cash index.
- Live Cattle: June and August live cattle futures finished lower,
while far-deferred contracts were narrowly mixed. Feeder cattle futures
posted slight losses in all contracts.
reports affecting agriculture
to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for
- Credit-Card Fees Curbed Sweeping new restrictions
on credit-card companies would ban extra fees and fluctuating rates
and arm tens of millions of consumers with more information on their
- Officials Weigh Having One Mortgage Regulator Senior
Obama administration officials are discussing giving a federal agency
authority to police mortgages and other consumer-oriented financial
products as part of the government's broader overhaul of financial regulation,
people familiar with the matter said.
- Californian Voters Reject Budget Measures Californians
on Tuesday rejected a series of ballot initiatives to help fix the state's
massive budget shortfall, as authorities prepared deep spending cuts
in anticipation of the measures' defeat.
- Need for Speed (Read) to Pass Climate Bill Democrats
in the House Energy and Commerce Committee have taken a novel precaution
to head off Republican efforts to slow action this week on a sweeping
climate bill. They are hiring a speed reader
- Downturn Sets Up Surge in Oil Prices Energy investment
is "plunging" because of the recession, paving the way for
oil-price surges within three years, the International Energy Agency
warned in a new report.
- Japan's Aso Urges Calm as Flu Spreads Prime Minister
Taro Aso took to the airwaves on Tuesday, urging calm as the A/H1N1
flu virus spread across Japan's western region, prompting school closings
and leading some corporations to cancel business trips. Almost 200 people,
mainly high school students in western Japan, have been infected with
the new strain of influenza. Health experts say they are concerned the
virus could spread.
- Japan's GDP Shrinks as Consumer Spending Feels the Pinch
Japan's economy faced its sharpest contraction on record in the first
quarter, as the impact of the global economic slump spread from its
export sector to domestic consumers. But recent improvements in manufacturing
activity indicate that the economy has begun to climb out of the abyss,
though at a labored pace.
- Car Makers Expect to Hit Fuel Goals Car makers embraced
the tougher fuel-economy rules, expressing confidence they can hit the
targets despite the additional costs and technological challenges.
- Deere Stock Clings to Memories of the Boom Deere
reports second-quarter results on Wednesday, and analysts widely expect
the agricultural-equipment maker to cut its outlook for 2009.
New York Times (registration to site required)
Navigates the Politics of a Health Scare The H1N1 epidemic
has showcased Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s strengths — like
his ability to dispense common-sense advice — but also shown his
Pledges More Aid to Pakistan The United States pledged
an additional $110 million in aid to Pakistan on Tuesday, reflecting
both the deepening humanitarian crisis in the Swat Valley and what the
administration says is its growing confidence in Pakistan’s efforts
to combat the Taliban.
Voters Reject Measures to Keep State Solvent A smattering
of California voters on Tuesday soundly rejected five ballot measures
designed to keep the state solvent through the rest of the year.
May Add New Financial Watchdog Consumer Agency Under
Consideration The Obama administration is actively discussing the
creation of a regulatory commission that would have broad authority
to protect consumers who use financial products as varied as mortgages,
credit cards and mutual funds, according to several sources familiar
with the matter
Card Restrictions Close to Enactment Landmark credit card
legislation, poised to reach President Obama's desk by Memorial Day,
will force the card industry to reinvent itself and consumers to rethink
the way they use plastic.
New in Obama's Immigration Policy While Embracing Bush's
Programs, President Says Nuance Makes the Difference Although President
Obama has spent much of his time in office moving away from the policies
of his predecessor, on immigration enforcement, he has embraced several
Bush administration initiatives, and the changes he has promised to
make are couched in nuance.
Debate Drags On in House Energy Committee After lawmakers
consumed all of Monday afternoon with opening statements, debate over
a bill that would cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions finally got underway
in a House committee yesterday.
Flu Spreading in Japan, Forcing School Closures To stop
swine flu before it could sneak off airplanes arriving from North America,
Japan dispatched masked health inspectors with fever-sensing guns to
walk among passengers.
GDP Continues Rapid Decline Annualized 15.2% Drop Is
Steepest in 50 Years, 4th in 4 Quarters Japan's export-addicted
economy shrank during the first quarter at the fastest pace in more
than 50 years, continuing a dismal trend that since last year has made
it the worst performer among major countries.
with, not at
Jay Leno: "Hey, there was a private screening of
'Star Trek' at the White House over the weekend. And President Obama said
he really liked the film. The best thing about private screenings, because
we get to do them – it's not like seeing it with the public, you
know, where there might be some moron talking through the whole movie.
In fact, that's why they didn't tell Joe Biden."
David Letterman: "You know Vice President Joe
Biden? ... Now they're saying...that he apparently had a couple of drinks
and he was shooting his mouth off. And he announced the location of Vice
President Dick Cheney -- the old Vice President -- his hiding place. ...
And Joe Biden says, 'Well, I know where the heck it is. He had, like,
a bunker under his house.' And I was thinking...if you're going to reveal
secrets about something, why don't you reveal a secret about where bin
Laden is hiding."
Jimmy Fallon: "Joe Biden accidentally revealed
the location of the Vice President's top secret bunker. ... The guy can't
help it. But he did apologize. He said, 'I am so sorry for the mistake.
The launch code is 85334. It will never happen again. It will never happen
again. My Gmail password is robot23. What am I doing? The house key is
under the plant near the doorstep.'"