Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The Nikkei 225 Index gained 24.54 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,438.45.
- In Asian trading, the dollar traded at 89.47 yen, up from 89.48 yen.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 25.41, or 0.30 percent, to 8,448.56 . The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7.67, or 0.50 percent, to 1,546.46.
- The 10-year Treasury note rose 6/32 to yield 2.294 percent.
- The dollar was at 89.41 Japanese yen, up from 89.13 yen, while the euro traded at $1.3178, down from $1.3190 late Monday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures gapped lower on the open and extended losses into the close to finish 17 to 18 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures posted strong double-digit gains through much of the session, but gave back a lot of the price strength and finished just slightly higher for the day.
- Wheat: Futures opened lower, but quickly firmed to solid gains on short-covering, only to see gains trimmed into the close.
- Cotton: Futures posted a low-range close and finished slightly lower.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted slight losses for the day. That was good for a mid-range close in nearby contracts and a high-range close in far-deferred futures.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 20 cents to $1.17 higher, as nearby contracts led 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)
- Global Trade Posts Sharp Decline Combined U.S. imports and exports dropped 18% in the four months from July to November, to $326 billion from nearly $398 billion, according to Commerce Department figures released Tuesday. Japan's exports posted a 27% decline in November compared with a year earlier. The drop in trade, however is improving the U.S. trade deficit -- with it down to $40.4 billion in November from $56.7 billion in October -- the smallest deficit in five years.
- Cargill's Inside View Helps It Buck Downturn The extensive article looks at how the company has weathered market gyrations and how it has capitalized on the myriad of information collected by its various outlets around the world. The article cites examples of how they've succeeded, and on occasion, stumbled.
Cargill's Net Up 25%, Lifted by Investment
- Fed Officials Say Ailing Banks Require More U.S. Funds Chairman Bernanke and other Fed officials say while it's important to help consumers, the banking/financial industry still needs more help in part because of bad assets that continue to overhang the market.
- Stimulus Proposal Aims to Aid State, Local Governments Aid to states to help them avoid cuts in education and to help states with Medicaid.
- Despite Deal, EU Still Awaits Flow of Russian Gas Russia said it had restarted the flow of natural gas to Europe through Ukraine, but that Ukraine hadn't allowed the gas to flow through its transit system. Ukraine charged Russia sent the gas to the wrong terminal as opening the flow would have cut off gas to domestic Ukraine customers.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Whole Foods fights for merger Whole Foods is requesting data from Omaha and 28 other regional markets to try and bolster its claim that merging with Wild Oats has not hurt competition.
- Ethanol backers tout large corn crop. Officials from the Renewable Fuels Association said the USDA update on corn production for 2008 shows the country can have a robust ethanol industry and still provide enough corn for food and feed needs.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Well, this week the chief of staff for embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich spoke to Illinois state workers on issues of ethics in the workplace. How ironic was that? Was Bernard Madoff not available?"
Jay Leno: "I guess you heard" that "lawmakers in Illinois voted 114-1 to impeach the governor. ... So apparently, Blagojevich was only able to bribe one person."
Jay Leno: "Hey, did you all see Barack Obama's speech about the economy yesterday? Very sobering. He told Washington, 'We've arrived at this point due to an era of profound irresponsibility.' And of course, there's only one way out of it. Spend more money we don't have. Yeah, that's the ticket!"
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama's mother-in-law is moving into the White House." Well, "if that doesn't get him to solve the economic crisis, nothing will. 'We'll get you your own place, Ma. Don't worry!'"
Jay Leno: "Well, here's something good for the environment. President Bush recently declared three Pacific Ocean regions as national monuments. Again, you see, I don't think President Bush understands the impact of some of these things. When officials said this would create the largest marine reserve in the world, he said, 'Great, let's get some of them to Iraq and Afghanistan. Let's see if we can send them over there.'"
Jay Leno: "The economy is so bad, when he was in the White House the other day, Jimmy Carter thought he was still president."