Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed 0.33 percent, or 42.43 points higher at 13,168.41.
- The dollar was trading at 109.75.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 224.64 points, or 1.9 percent, at 11,431.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1 percent, or 22.64 points, to 2,355.73.
- The 10-year Treasury note was up nearly a full point, yielding 3.945 percent. The 30-year bond rose 2-2/32 to yield 4.568 percent.
- The dollar traded at 109.51 yen, compared to 109.79 yen late Wednesday, while the euro was at $1.5324, compared to $1.5412.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures opened slightly higher and extended gains to finish mostly around 14 cents higher.
- Soybeans: Futures closed near opening marks, finishing 15 to 22 1/2 cents higher.
- Wheat: Futures opened slightly higher and extended gains through the day to finish sharply higher.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply higher on support from short-covering and spillover from general commodity strength.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed $1.57 to $2.22 higher in all but the October contract, which closed 7 cents firmer.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a highly choppy day of trade, with nearbys sharply reversing course to erase gains and finish sharply 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)
- Food Giants Race to Pass Rising Costs to Shoppers During the first six months of 2008, the consumer-price index for food compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics rose at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.8%, with retail prices of breakfast cereal, bakery products and cooking oil among the fastest climbers.
Sara Lee Sees Benefits of Revamp As Sales Rise 12% Brands Post Gains In Market Share; Charge Hurts Net
- EPA Declines to Reduce Ethanol Requirements The agency opted to keep the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) mandates intact, with some groups signaling they'll try again to get the mandates turned back with the next U.S. administration.
- ECB, Bank of England Keep Rates Steady The European Central Bank and Bank of England left their key policy rates at 4.25% and 5%, respectively, and markets now expect no rate shifts in coming months.
- Republican Energy Fumble. The five Republican Senators who joined five Democratic Senators in proposing an energy plan that leaves offshore drilling up to states and taxes oil companies may have compromised the energy issue for Republicans.
The Antithesis of a Rational American Energy Policy Letters to the editor, including one from Rep. Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
Oil Market Remains Vulnerable to Shocks
- Ex-President of Refco Inc. Is Sentenced Tone N. Grant, the former president of defunct commodities broker Refco Inc., was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a scheme to hide the firm's financial troubles.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- EPA Denies Texas Temporary Easing Of Ethanol Rules Agency Sees No 'Severe Economic Harm' EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said said while "the agency recognizes that a number of factors have contributed to high corn, food, and fuel prices as a nation," it does not believe the renewable fuels requirement is "causing severe economic harm" to Texas.
- China Rebuffs Criticisms As Bush Arrives in Beijing The Chinese Foreign Ministry took exception to comments made by President Bush as he headed to Beijing for the start of the
- Slowdown Reflected In Retail Sales Data Discounters Did Well; Clothiers Declined Retailer reports on their sales indicate that the economic downturn has not been seen as much by discounters and warehouse stores, but others have not fared as well.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
- EPA refuses to waive biofuels mandate EPA administrator Stephen Johnson said the agency determined that implementing the standard would have no significant impact on corn, fuel or food prices and would therefore not rise to the level of "severe harm to the economy" that granting the waiver would require.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Ethanol mandate is staying put Some think the EPA has set the bar so high on determining whether there was economic harm from the ethanol mandate that it won't be changed by any future challenges.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Welcome to ‘The Tonight Show.' … What a crowd! You sound like Dick Cheney looking at Exxon's profits.”
Jay Leno: "Exxon Mobil reported a second quarter profit of $12 billion,” but that was "actually below the Wall Street expectations for the company. So now, their stock shares have fallen as a result. Boy, what's that morning meeting like on Monday, huh? You call in the district managers. ‘We only made $12 billion this quarter! My family has to eat!'”
Jay Leno: "Well, yesterday, President Bush announced there are going to be some big changes in intelligence in the White House. Yeah, he's leaving.”
Jay Leno: "The John McCain campaign has accused Barack Obama of playing the race card. The Obama campaign has accused McCain of playing the pinochle card, so I don't know what's going to happen there.”
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama accused Republicans of trying to make others fear him because, and I quote, ‘He doesn't look like the other presidents on the dollar bill.' So the choice is, do you want to elect the guy who doesn't look like the President on the dollar bill, or do you want to elect the guy who looks older than the President on the dollar bill?”
Jay Leno: "It's been mentioned that Barack Obama may still pick a woman for vice president, but not Hillary Clinton. Yeah. Well, today, a top Hillary Clinton supporter named Lanny Davis said it was inconceivable…that Obama would pick another woman over Hillary, to which Bill said, ‘It's not that inconceivable.'”
Jay Leno: "Yeah, that's the big talk. They say Barack Obama could decide to go with another woman. See, that's what killed John Edwards' chances of being vice president. He decided to go with another woman.”
Jay Leno: "And Barack Obama told Tom Brokaw the other day on ‘Meet the Press' that what he's looking for in a vice president is a person who will tell him when they thought he was wrong, to which president Bush said, ‘Trust me. That gets old really fast.'”
Jay Leno: "The new song by rapper Ludacris is causing some controversy for Barack Obama,” because "it attacks Hillary and Bush and John McCain in a very distasteful way. … In fact, when John McCain heard that Obama had Ludacris on his iPod, he was stunned. He said, ‘What's an iPod?'”
Jay Leno: "The McCain campaign has” been running a commercial where they compare "Barack Obama to various Hollywood celebrities.” Because if "there's one thing…Republicans will not stand for, it's electing some Hollywood celebrity to public office -- except for Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood -- you know, except for those.”