Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 465.05 points, or 4.25 percent, to 10,473.09 -- its lowest close since February 2004.
- The dollar bought 103.66 from 105.30 yen late Friday.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 157.47, or 1.50 percent, to 10,325.38 -- its lowest close since October 2005 and the 7.3 percent decline for the week was the biggest percentage decline since July 2002. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 29.33, or 1.48 percent, to 1,947.39 -- off 10.8 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note ended the week unchanged at 3.64 percent.
- The dollar traded at 105.14 yen, down from 105.22 yen while the euro was at $1.3806, up from $1.3794 late Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures saw a stronger start to the day thanks to short-covering, but buying dried up and futures closed narrowly mixed.
- Soybeans: Futures capped off a week of very sharp losses with double-digit declines as the market failed to hold onto earlier corrective gains.
- Wheat: Futures finished firmer in Chicago, mostly higher in Kansas City and mixed in Minneapolis.
- Cotton: Futures started the week lower, but choppy price action followed. December cotton finished the week about 300 points lower than last week's close to extend the decline.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures settled with a mixed tone after posting corrective gains must of the day.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures opened higher Friday morning, but failed to hold gains into the close as attitudes are decidedly bearish.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Europe Races to Shore Up Banks as Crisis Spreads European countries took steps over the weekend and heading into the weekend to address the spreading economic concerns on financial institutions. The actions came on the heels of the leaders of Europe's four largest countries pledged to protect the financial system.
EU Car Makers to Seek Loan
Iceland Scrambles for Cash to Save Banks, Economy
- Paulson to Tap Adviser to Run Rescue Program Neel Kashkari is expected to be named head of the Office of Financial Stability, the new office created to buy bad loans and other distressed securities. He is a Treasury assistant secretary for international affairs and a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker.
- Fed Pushes to Resolve Wachovia Deal Dispute Citi, Wells Fargo Discuss Carve-Up; Sparring in Court The dispute between Citi Financial and Wells Fargo relative to the purchase of Wachovia could end up seeing Wachovia split into pieces between the two. Some fear without a compromise plan, the matter could drag on for weeks.
Affidavit Suggests Wachovia Neared Failure
- Texas Rancher's Bridge to the Past Runs Afoul of the Border Patrol Span to Mexico Reminds Him of His Youth; Bilingual Poker, Whiskey, Calf-Brain Stew The rickety foot bridge on the rancher's property has been targeted for closure by the Border Patrol who charge it allows in illegal immigrants and drugs. It is said to be the last foot bridge remaining between the U.S. and Mexico in this stretch of the country.
- A Street Longtimer Speaks Seth Glickenhaus is one of few folks who were on Wall Street during the Great Depression and the article offers his views on the market and what will potentially happen in this time of great uncertainty in the marketplace. He says government action is the biggest difference between now and the market crash in 1929.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Financial Crises Spread in Europe The current situation marks the first real "crisis" in Europe since the formation of the euro in 1999, according to the article. Actions have been taken by some European countries to try and shore up their banking and financial situation. While leaders of Germany, Britain, Italy and the UK all pledged to prevent a failure in Europe like Lehman Brothers in the U.S., no rescue package has emerged.
- Full of Doubts, U.S. Shoppers Cut Spending The item notes a host of indicators that consumers are pulling in their horns, including slow car sales, light traffic and restaurants and stores, less airline travel and more. This has observers convinced things will likely get worse before getting better.
- The Road to Lehman's Failure Was Littered With Lost Chances. The item looks at the actions Lehman leaders tried to take which ultimately ended with the firm in bankruptcy.
- In a Weak Climate, the Dollar Has Surprising Muscle. Despite continued U.S. financial woes, the dollar rose to its highest level in more than a year against the euro, the Canadian dollar and several other currencies.
- As Suitors Fight Over Wachovia, Fed Tries for Deal The Federal Reserve is hoping the three parties involved will be able to work out a deal in the wake of Wells Fargo re-emerging as a suitor for Wachovia. Their offer to buy all of Wachovia came after Citi Financial had agreed to purchase a portion of the firm.
- Nebraska Becomes Unlikely Battleground The item looks at how the campaigns are broadening their efforts in some states where their chances are typically slim, including Sen. Obama putting efforts into Nebraska, a state which hasn't gone Democratic for president since the 1930s.
- Paulson Adviser To Oversee Rescue Neel Kashkari is expected to run the program on an interim basis until the Treasury finds a permanent head of the rescue effort.
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
- ICM lays off 73 more of its employees From Saturday's editions. ICM, a firm which designs and engineers ethanol plants, is laying off another 73 employees due to conditions in the ethanol industry. Since beginning operations in 1995, ICM has designed and engineered 84 ethanol plants throughout the United States and Canada, with 17 projects currently under construction that use ICM technology.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Conan O'Brien: "Today, the House of Representatives voted against the Wall Street bailout plan, a plan which House Minority Leader John Boehner called a ‘crap sandwich.'” Congress is "already working on a new plan, which they call a ‘crap sandwich with cheese.'”
Conan O'Brien: "The presidential debate was held Friday. Many observers are split on who won. Yeah. Some say Barack Obama won by showing he could hold his own,” while others "say that John McCain won by showing he could hold his bladder.”
Conan O'Brien: "Critics are still analyzing Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric last week. And…they're saying she was halting, repetitive, and stumped on basic questions. Yeah. In other words, Palin appeared very presidential.”