Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 152.32, or 1.7 percent, to 8,907.58.
- The dollar was at 99.25 yen from 99.59 yen.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 95.81, or 1.2 percent, at 8,125.43 -- its first close over 8,100 since Feb. 9. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 43.64, or 2.7 percent, to 1,670.44 -- its highest close of the year.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield was up to 2.83 percent from 2.77 percent late Wednesday.
- The dollar was unchanged at 99.32 yen, while the euro was at $1.3171, down from $1.3222 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures saw a choppy day of trade, but saw late-session spillover from sharp gains in nearby beans to close 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents higher.
- Soybeans: Futures sharply extended gains into the close, with May closing 23 1/2 cents higher and August closing 9 1/2 cents higher.
- Wheat: Futures saw a two-sided day of trade, with late-session gains coming on spillover from sharp gains in nearby soybean futures.
- Cotton: Futures favored gains through the day, closing 71 to 98 points higher.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures trimmed gains into the close to finish steady to 57 1/2 cents higher.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures trimmed initial gains to close 12 1/2 cents to $1.25 1/2 higher, with April leading gains.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- EPA Considers Higher Ethanol Mix Allowing 15% Gasoline Blends Would Help Industry, but Poses Car-Warranty Issue The item looks at the issues surrounding the request to raise the ethanol blend percentage to up to 15% from the current 10%. It quotes a spokesman for GM as saying the automaker wants to make sure it "isn't on the hook" for damages to cars from blends beyond 10%.
Alternative Fuel Folly
- Manufacturing, Housing Sectors Remain Weak Many see another three to six months of weak performance in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy, but there are signs potentially that the housing sector may be approaching a bottom.
Homeowner Problems With Chinese-Made Drywall Spread
- Obama Says Cuba Has the Next Move . President Obama said the administration has gone as far as it will go right now relative to relations with Cuba, signaling it is now up to Cuba to determine if it is willing to change.
- Rattner Involved in Inquiry on Fees Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund. A spokesperson at the Treasury Dept. said Rattner had made the administration aware of the investigation during the transition.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- To Fill Food Safety Gap, Processors Pay Inspectors The food industry in some areas is paying inspectors to go into fields, etc., and do on-the-ground checks to make sure that food is being handled properly. But critics of this self-policing effort say it could raise conflict of interest issues and lacks the rigor of a federally run program.
- Study Finds Pattern of Severe Droughts in Africa Typically over the last 3,000 years, a severe drought developed every 30 to 65 years, the researchers said. But several centuries-long droughts in the climate record, the most recent persisting from 1400 to around 1750, are harder to explain, they said.
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "According to MSNBC, there's a big problem with identity theft affecting electronic tax filing. People are stealing other people's identities, filing taxes in their name, and then getting their refund check. Today, half the Obama Administration said, 'That's what happened to us!'"
Craig Ferguson: "President Obama said today" he "wants to make the tax code so simple that even Joe Biden can understand it."
Craig Ferguson: "I've got no problem paying taxes. That's why I wasn't qualified to be in Obama's Cabinet."
Jimmy Fallon: "Well, hey, it's tax day today. ... It's Wednesday, April 15th. But if you don't get" your taxes "done in time, don't worry about it. The good news is you may be on your way to an Obama Cabinet position."