Economic Worries Continue in Focus

July 16, 2008 07:00 PM
Snapshot of news and events for today


Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 1 percent, or 127.15 points, to close at 12,887.95.

  • The dollar bought 105.32 in Tokyo, up from ¥105.11 in New York late Wednesday.

Wednesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 276.74 points, or 2.5 percent, to 11,239.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3.1 percent, or 69.11 points, to end at 2,284.95
  • The 30-year treasury bond ended the session down 1 23/32 point, or $17.1875 for every $1,000 invested, to yield 4.582 percent, up from 4.475 percent. The benchmark yield curve, or the yield spread between the two- and 10-year notes, grew to 1.520 percentage points from 1.454 points Tuesday.
  • The dollar traded at 105.17 yen from 104.78, while the euro was at $1.5818 from $1.5898 late Tuesday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures posted a high-range close, finishing 10 to 11 cents higher.
  • Soybeans: Futures strongly rebounded from a lower open to close 30-plus cents higher.

  • Wheat: Futures closed 22 to 30 cents higher in Chicago, 15 to 24 cents higher in Kansas City and mostly 16 to 19 cents higher in Minneapolis.
  • Cotton: Futures saw a choppy day of trade before finishing just above unchanged.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures rallied into the close to finish strong.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 30 cents to $1 lower on pressure through the day from a combination of technical and fundamental factors.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






July 14

Grain Inspections (A)
Livestock and Meat Trade Data (E)
Turkey Hatchery (N)
Rice Outlook (E)
Oil Crops Outlook (E)
U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update (E)
Cotton and Wool Outlook (E)
Crop Progress (N)


Feed Outlook (E)
Wheat Outlook (E)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Meat Price Spreads (E)
Broiler Hatchery


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Vegetables (N)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (E)

Milk Production
Peanut Prices (N)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Ethanol Backers, Critics Ratchet Up the Rhetoric The battles between pro- and anti-ethanol forces continue, and are showing no signs of letting up as the EPA decision on the Texas request for a 50% waiver on the Renewable Fuels Standard is drawing near.
  • Fed Confronts Spike in Inflation Consumer Prices Surge, but Stumbling Economy Could Start to Curb Pressure Consumer prices posted their largest one-month increase in May since Sept. 2005, and were up 5% versus year-ago which is the biggest increase since 1991. The challenge now facing the Fed is whether to raise rates and risk hurting the economy or keep rates steady and risk spurring inflation.
  • Capitol Hill Storm Envelops Fannie-Freddie Rescue Democrats Try to Tie Plan to Housing Bill; Frantic Negotiations Expectations are one side is going to have to give for the rescue legislation to move forward and be approved before lawmakers head out for the August congressional recess. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson held a closed-door meeting with House Republicans Wednesday evening, where he urged the lawmakers to support the legislation.
  • China's Growth Pace Slows Softening Exports, Untamed Inflation Spur Calls for Action Gross domestic product for the quarter was 10.1% higher than in the same period of 2007, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, slowing from the first quarter's 10.6% growth rate. The consumer price index in June was up 7.1% from a year earlier, a smaller increase than the 12-year high of 8.7% in February.
  • To Help, Legislation Must Increase the Energy Supply. Letters to the editor. Readers deliver a stinging rebuke of Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) letter to the editor from July 15 in which he pledges to go after speculators in the marketplace.

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • Economic Fears Slice Oil Prices for Second Day The two-day decline in oil prices has totaled over $10 per barrel, but analysts aren't sure how much further crude will fall at this juncture. And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers Wednesday that energy prices were affecting growth. "The rising prices of energy and some other commodities have led to a sharp pickup in inflation, and some measures of inflation expectations have moved higher," he said.
  • For Pelosi, a Fight Against Offshore Drilling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to fight efforts to allow off-shore drilling for oil, signaling that such a move would be a "capitulation" to Republicans and the White House. A vote is possible on a measure that would deny oil companies any new leases unless they can show they are diligently exploring existing holdings.
    Related item:
    Interior Dept. Opens 2.6 Million Alaskan Acres for Oil Exploration

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

  • Should idled land be used for crops? CRP penalty-free early out remains a hot topic, bringing up the debate of whether some of the acres enrolled in the conservation program should be brought back into row-crop production.

Denver Post (Colorado)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Jesse Jackson now apologizing to Barack Obama for some extremely crude comments he made about Obama after an interview on Fox News. Yeah, apparently Jackson didn't know the microphone was on, and he said some nasty stuff, yeah. So yet another reverend Obama has to distance himself from. The guy has the worst luck with preachers of anybody I know!”

Jay Leno: "They're now investigating why Barack Obama's loaner charter jet had mechanical problems the other day. Remember he had to make an emergency stop in St. Louis? ABC News says the jet was previously used by Hillary Clinton. See, so Hillary let Barack borrow her plane. And it had problems. Wonder what that was all about?”

Jay Leno: "And the African-American cable network TV One is coming under fire for its plans to cover the Democratic convention but not the Republican convention. And, believe me, black Republicans are very upset, both of them.”

Jay Leno: "And President Bush was in Japan for the G8 summit. Again, another embarrassing incident at dinner. I guess President Bush sent his sushi back because it was cold. ‘Throw that on the grill a little bit there!'”

Jay Leno: "Osama bin Laden's teenage son…has released a poem calling for the destruction of America and the killing of all its allies. Imagine a kid writing something like that. Here's my question. Where are the parents?”

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