Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 881.06 points, or 9.6 percent, to 8,276.43 -- its lowest level since May 2003 and the index has lost 24 percent of its value this week alone.
- The dollar bought 98.71 yen after dipping under 98 for its lowest level since March 19.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 678.91 points, or 7.3 percent, to close at 8,579.19 -- the Dow's third biggest point drop on record. Five of the Dow's 10 biggest point declines have come this year. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 95.21, or 5.5 percent, to 1,645.12.
- The 10-year Treasury note ended down 1 point, or $10 per $1,000 face value, at 101 11/32. Its yield rose to 3.836 percent from 3.717 percent Wednesday. The 30-year bond was down 1 1/32 to yield 4.12 percent.
- The dollar traded at 99.92 yen, from 99.81 yen, while the euro was at $1.3624, from $1.3687 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed mostly around 10 cents higher, which was near opening levels.
- Soybeans: Futures closed around 16 cents higher, finishing near opening levels.
- Wheat: Futures favored a weaker tone through the day amid spreading with corn.
- Cotton: Futures finished sharply lower, erasing early short-covering gains as buying interest dried up.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures came off session lows, but still closed nearer session lows than highs.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw choppy, two-sided trade, but ended 32 to 87 cents 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)
- Market's 7-Day Rout Leaves U.S. Reeling Stocks in a Slow-Motion Crash as Dow Drops Another 679 Points; After Year of Declines, Investors Lose $8.4 Trillion of Wealth The item looks at the current market decline in perspective of historical bear-market periods and noting the similarities and differences that exist.
- How to Solve the Derivatives Problem Clearinghouses provide a workable model. Opinion item by Walter Lukken, acting head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Lukken suggests that setting up a clearinghouse for derivatives as at least a temporary solution to the current issues surrounding derivatives.
- U.S. Weighs Backing Bank Debt Removing Deposit Insurance Limits Also on the Table The two moves, if they happen, would mark the most intensive intervention into the financial markets by the government as it seeks to address the financial crisis, according to the article. However, the item stresses it's still not clear these steps will come to fruition.
Treasury Weighs Next Step to Stem Crisis
Rescue Was Sold Softly to the Street Kashkari Told Financial-Industry Players That Salary Caps Wouldn't Be Too Onerous
Taiwan, South Korea Cut Rates
Global Action Needed, Says World Bank
- Economists Expect Crisis to Deepen Economists surveyed by the paper expect U.S. GDP to contract in the third and fourth quarters of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, a prediction which if it comes true, it would mark the first time for three consecutive quarters of economic contraction in more than a half century. Economists put the odds of recession in the next 12 months at 89%, up from 60% in last month's survey. Also, 54% said they think the next president should launch an economic-stimulus package in January.
- Cash-Strapped Drivers Scrimp Despite Cheaper Gas. Despite gasoline prices slipping below $3 per gallon in many areas, indications are drivers haven't relaxed on their limitations on driving that they undertook when gas prices were around $4 per gallon.
- In China, Leaders Turn Focus to Farmers' Plight Sluggish Productivity, Low Rural Incomes Raise Concerns Over Long-Term Growth; A Question of Property Rights. China's annual meeting of the Communist party is expected to focus on rural issues and the areas of property rights, etc., as the country seeks to bolster its ag output which is not keeping pace with its expanding population.
- Oil's Drop Squeezes Producers Economies of Iran, Venezuela Vulnerable as Crude Price Falls but Demand Stays Low. OPEC nations have set an emergency meeting for Nov. 18 as they watch oil prices fall which is putting pressure on the economies of countries dependent on oil for revenue.
- No Wonder Farm Productivity Is Up. Letter to the editor. The writer says farm subsidies are behind big production.
- Milk Scandal Taints China's Cherished White Rabbit Candy Will Be Relaunched in New Packaging as Manufacturer Tries to Reassure Consumers That It's Free of Contaminants. Production of the venerable candy has been halted and its maker is now trying relaunch it with new packaging.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Fears of Recession Deepen Rout Stock Decline Sweeps Through All U.S. Sectors and Pummels Asian Markets Stocks fell again Thursday with no one single factor cited for the decline, rather a general fear of the current financial and economic situation.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- ND still restricting Minnesota cattle imports Even though USDA has declared Minnesota a "split state status” for bovine TB, lessening the testing requirements for all cattle producers except those in parts of four northwestern counties, North Dakota says it will keep its restrictions on cattle from Minnesota.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: 10. It's a town hall debate, but the town is in a mountainous region of Pakistan 9. Tom Brokaw leaves early to catch 9:15 showing of "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" 8. Topics fall into the categories "Domestic policy," "Foreign policy," and "Burt Reynolds films of the '70s" 7. Keep arguing about who has more friends on Facebook 6. Candidate says, "Why you hatin'?" Other responds, "Why you buggin'?" 5. It's covered by CBS, NBC, ABC, and the Howard 100 News team 4. Candidates ignore questions and gossip about which Senate pages are sluts 3. The yodeling competition 2. Disproportionate amount of questions about "The Hills" 1. It's 90 minutes of folksy phrases and winking