Fannie & Freddie Get Help

July 13, 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 closed down 0.2 percent, or 29.53 points at 13,010.16.

  • The dollar bought 106.73 Monday, up from ¥106.30.

Friday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 11,100.54, off 128.48 points or 1.14 percent. The Dow dipped below 10,000 for the first time in two years but did manage to recover above 11,000 by the close. It is now down 22 percent from its high. The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 0.8 percent, or 18.77 points, to 2,239.08 -- off 22% from its Oct. 31, 2007 high.
  • The 10-year Treasury note fell 25/32 to yield 3.89 percent. The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond fell 36/32 to yield at 4.48 percent. 

  • The dollar traded at 106.38 yen, down from 107.04 yen, while the euro at $1.5924 from $1.5779 late Thursday. The euro reached an 11-week high in Friday trade.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures benefited from short-covering support to close out the week, but still posted losses for the week.
  • Soybeans: Futures closed higher following a choppy day of trade.

  • Wheat: Futures closed the week with double-digit gains in most contracts at all three exchanges.
  • Cotton: Futures closed mixed, seeing a highly choppy day of trade on the charts.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed lower in most contracts Friday, although the July contract was sharply higher on support from the cash market.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures finished near weekly lows, deteriorating through the week amid profit-taking pressure.

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)

  • Treasury and Fed Pledge Aid For Ailing Mortgage Giants The Treasury Dept. announced it would seek congressional approval for a temporary increase in a longstanding Treasury line of credit for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The Fed agreed to give the New York Fed the authority to lend to Fannie and Freddie "should such lending prove necessary."
    Related item:
    Past Crises Suggest More Waves of Pain
    Crisis Tests Faith in U.S. Economy
    Bank Fears Spread After Seizure of IndyMac
    Schumer Deflects Blame To IndyMac, Regulator
    Fannie, Freddie Woes Worse Than Bear's in Some Ways
    New Peek at Bank Crisis Comes as Results Roll In

    There Is No Reason to Panic Opinion item by Peter Wallison, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Pressed to Act, SEC to Probe False Rumors About Market The Securities & Exchange Commission says it will crack down on those who spread false rumors in the marketplace. SEC said it would join with other Wall Street regulators, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and New York Stock Exchange Regulation Inc., to immediately begin examining the supervision and compliance programs at brokerage firms and hedge funds

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • Treasury Acts to Save Mortgage Giants The Fed will lend to the two mortgage groups as a temporary measure while the Bush administration seeks congressional approval to pump billions of dollars into Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The request is expected to be attached to a housing bill working its way through Congress that could head to the White House as early as this week.
    Related item:
    Government as the Big Lender

Washington Post

  • U.S. Unveils Plan to Aid Mortgage Giants Federal Officials Offer Sweeping Proposal to Help Shore Up Fannie, Freddie The Federal efforts to infuse the two mortgage giants with cash was seen as an important step to address another aspect of the unfolding mortgage situation.
  • Offshore Drilling Backed as Remedy for Oil Prices Push for U.S. Exploration Gains Traction, but Big Political Hurdles Remain A new Gallup Poll shows that 57 percent of people surveyed were willing to allow drilling in coastal and wilderness areas currently off limits, if it had the potential to reduce high gas prices. One plan being talked about would share revenues between the U.S. government and state governments.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

  • To plant or not on set-aside farmland? The item looks at the factors involved in deciding whether or not to take farmland out of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and bring it back into production.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "And John Kerry is now criticizing John McCain. Kerry says McCain does not have the judgment to be president. I don't think that's true. I mean, McCain had the good judgment not to accept Kerry's offer to be his running mate in 2004."

Jay Leno: "Well, the Democrats are now preparing for their convention in Denver, and they have hired the first-ever 'Director of Greening.' They say this will ensure that everything about their convention will be green, including nominating a candidate who has only been a senator for a couple years."

Conan O'Brien: "Yesterday, President Bush met with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Afterwards, Bush regarded him as, quote, 'a smart guy.' Yeah. Yeah, when asked how he knows he's smart, Bush said, 'He speaks fluent Russian.'"

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