Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.5 percent, or 62.61 points higher to finish at 13,019.41.
- The dollar traded at 110.12-17 yen, up from 109.49-51 yen.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 82.97 points, or 0.7 percent, at 11615.93 -- down 12 percent on the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 25.05 points, or 1.03 percent, to finish at 2,453.67.
- The 10-year Treasury note rose 14/32 point, or $4.375 per $1,000 face value, to $100 28/32, with the yield down to 3.894 percent. The 30-year bond rose 19/32 to 99 16/32, with its yield falling to 4.53 percent from 4.57 percent.
- The dollar was at 109.63 yen from 109.55 yen, while the euro traded at $1.4809, down from $1.4928 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures posted a gap-higher open, briefly retraced to trade weaker, but then soared to fresh session highs in late trade to post a high-range close.
- Soybeans: Futures closed off session low, finishing 7 1/4 to 24 1/2 cents lower.
- Wheat: Futures saw a choppy day of trade, but in the end closed firmer on spillover from the corn pit.
- Cotton: Futures saw two-sided trade, briefly trading firmer in early trade.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed mixed amid spreading.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 17 to 50 cents higher in all contracts except February, which closed 5 cents 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)
- World Economy Shows New Strain European Output Shrinks, U.S. Inflation Jumps; Fresh Worries in Developing Nations The Eurozone economy contracted 0.2% in the latest quarter and the highest U.S. inflation level in 17 years are two of the latest worry signs on the global economy. It has raised questions on whether the world economy can really avoid the economic headwinds in the United States.
Inflation Pace Is Fastest in 17 Years
Economists Bet on Aid for Fannie, Freddie
- Data Raise Questions On Role of Speculators. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's reclassification of a large oil trader as a non-commercial speculator caused the level of speculator positions to rise to 49% of all crude-oil bets outstanding on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up from 38%.
- USDA Expands Its Recall of Beef Agency Says Efforts To Control Bacteria Were Insufficient The recall expansion pushes the total product involved to 1.36 million pounds of beef produced at the Nebraska plant.
- Russian Army Stands By As Mayhem Reigns in Gori Marauders Seize Two U.N. Vehicles; Georgians Retreat Ossetian rebels are presumably behind the chaos in the region with Russian soldiers apparently mostly just watching the events unfold.
U.S. and Poland Agree To Missile-Defense
U.S.-Russia Relations Turn Cold Over Fate of Georgia, Provinces
U.S. Plans to Deliver Aid to Georgia Slow
How the West Fueled Putin's Sense of Impunity Editorial.
- Offsets for Dumping Help U.S. Businesses. Letter to the editor by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.). The two lawmakers counter claims made by the paper in a recent editorial against an attempt to revive the so-called Byrd Amendment which distributes anti-dumping funds collected from foreign countries to U.S. businesses.
- CME Reassures Nymex Members On Tax Liability The CME is trying reassure NYMEX members about tax issues relative to the planned $8 billion acquisition of the New York energy exchange's parent, Nymex Holdings Inc.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Pakistani President Expected to Resign Musharraf, Facing Impeachment, Likely To Step Down Within Days, Officials Say Word of the leader's likely departure is raising concerns about increased conflict within the country.
- Traditional Energy's Modern Boom High Prices Are Driving Increased Extraction of Oil and Other Fossil Fuels While there is much focus on new energy supplies and renewable energy supplies, oil exploration efforts are also on the rise in the wake of high oil prices.
- Russian Relations In Doubt, Gates Says U.S. Assessing Need For Aid in Georgia Officials said it appeared Russian forces may be planning to exit Georgia, but it remained unclear if that indeed would happen. But Defense Sec. Gates signaled the U.S.-Russian relationship was clearly being tested by the situation.
- Inflation Climbs to 17-Year High. The consumer price data rose twice as much as pre-report expectations, raising more economic concerns.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Happy to be harvesting. North Dakota farmers are hoping for dry weather so they can work on getting this year's wheat harvest wrapped up.
- A machine-making man The story looks at a North Dakota farmer who buys antique farm implements and rebuilds them into usable pieces of machinery as a hobby.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Since Congress went on recess, oil prices have dropped to $118 a barrel. That's, like, a $30 drop from the record high. You know, maybe Congress should take more vacations, huh?”
Jay Leno: "Actually, analysts say a weak economy is causing less energy use, resulting in falling oil prices. Yeah. Basically, the worse the economy, the lower the oil prices, which means if Bush could serve one more term, oil would be free.”
Jay Leno: "Well, Barack Obama and John McCain have both switched their positions on offshore oil drilling. They both used to be against it, but now they say they are for it under the right circumstances, like if it helps them get elected.”
Jay Leno: "And according to CNN, Vice President Dick Cheney is unlikely to attend the Republican convention this summer. That's when you know you're popular, huh?”
Jay Leno: "No, it's a logistical problem. Apparently, all the ambulances are already on standby for John McCain.”
Jay Leno: "President Bush is on his way to China. His first order of business, meeting the ‘Kung Fu Panda.'”
Jay Leno: "And in China, the Olympic torch finally reached Beijing. Unfortunately, there's so much smog, today the torch lit the sky on fire.”
Jay Leno: "The International Olympic Committee is saying that the yellow-gray haze over Beijing is not pollution, it is only mist. … Okay, it's lead mist, but still.”
Jay Leno: "Have you seen China's slogan for the Olympics? Here it is. "One world, one dream.' But see the asterisk? Go in close. What does it say? ‘Restrictions apply, Tibet not included.'”
Jay Leno: "And because of this entire Brett Favre situation,” which has "turned out to be such a public relations disaster, the Green Bay Packers have hired President Bush's former spokesman Ari Fleischer. … So you know what the Packers are going to do now? Invade Iraq.”
David Letterman: "Everybody in Beijing…has Olympic fever. … Or, as it's also known, bronchial asthma.”
David Letterman: "Well, the big debates are coming up.” Barack Obama "wants to debate about foreign policy,” while "John McCain wants to debate about the big band era.”
David Letterman: "You know, I like John McCain. He looks like the guy that hangs out at the driving range,” always "giving you unwanted tips. … ‘You're topping the ball. You're top -- give me the club. You're topping the damn ball!'”
Conan O'Brien: "Of course, Barack Obama” is "still continuing to dominate media coverage. ‘The New York Times' just did a big piece” in which they "say that Barack Obama has been successful in politics because he's a black man who doesn't make white people feel threatened,” which "explains Obama's Secret Service code name, ‘Al Roker.'”
Jimmy Kimmel: "I don't know if you about this, but there is a formidable new combatant in the presidential race. Barely a week after John McCain used her image in an ad attacking Barack Obama, Paris Hilton is fighting back. Yesterday, she released her own political ad in which” she "talked about her own energy policy, which until this point I think had been…vodka and Red Bull.”