Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 260.49 points, or 2.22 percent, from Wednesday to 11,489.30 -- its lowest closing level since June 27, 2005.
- The dollar was steady against the yen at 105.99 yen.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 449.36 points, or 4.1 percent, to 10,609.66 -- its lowest finish since November 2005 and down 7.1 percent the last three days. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 109.05, or 4.94 percent, to 2,098.85.
- The 2-year Treasury note rose 9/32 to 101 13/32 with its yield falling to 1.64 percent. The 10-year Treasury note rose 5/32 to 101 13/32 and its yield declined to 3.42 percent.
- The dollar was at 104.74 yen, down from 105.92 yen, while the euro was at $1.4352, up from $1.4143 late Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures posted two-sided trade early, but closed near session highs after extending gains in late trade.
- Soybeans: Futures saw two-sided trade early, but rallied late to end firmer on short-covering.
- Wheat: Futures rallied into the close to finish sharply higher at all three exchanges.
- Cotton: Futures closed higher on support from short-covering and outside markets.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 30 to 80 cents higher amid short-covering support.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures finished mixed, with nearbys slightly 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)
- Mounting Fears Shake World Markets As Banking Giants Rush to Raise Capital The current market situation has resulted in higher borrowing costs for a host of firms, even those that are viewed as healthy.
Morgan Stanley in Talks With Wachovia, Others
Turmoil Threatens Russia's Rise Government Halts Trading as Stocks Go Into Free Fall
- Worst Crisis Since '30s, With No End Yet in Sight Some are calling this the worst U.S. financial situation since the Great Depression and say in part its due to companies carrying too much debt and not being willing to sell off that debt, even at a loss. Some note the U.S. economy, however, appears to be weathering the financial storm, in part helped by strong exports.
U.S. Moves to Bolster Fed Balance Sheet Treasury Auctions $40 Billion of Debt; More Sales on Tap
- Congress Vows Action on Markets, but After Election Lawmakers Irked at Being Left Out of AIG Rescue Plan Lawmakers say Congress needs to take a comprehensive look at the U.S. financial regulatory system, but that check won't take place prior to the Nov. 4 elections. The item looks at some of the things lawmakers are aiming to accomplish in the next two weeks.
A Big Unknown: Cost of Bailouts Profit Is Possible for Government if Firms Do Well
EU Has Tradition of Bailouts
Insurers See Garage Sale of AIG Lines
McCain, Obama Jockey for Position on Finance Crisis
The Fed and AIG Opinion item.
- Chinese Formula Maker Hid Toxic Danger for Weeks. Even as the product was being recalled, the maker of the tainted infant formula in China was not forthcoming about the situation. Sanlu reported to its board on Aug. 2 , six days before the Olympic Games opened in Beijing, that its baby formula was tainted, but a public announcement only came last week.
- Commodity Swings Hit General Mills. The firm reported that the financial value of its commodity positions fell with the decline of certain commodity prices during the quarter that ended in August.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Grain farmers wary of insurance fund The interest level in an insurance fund to help out in the event of a collapse of a grain elevator isn't significant and state regulators say they'll decide whether or not to pursue the idea.
- Plant workers get prayer time The Swift plant in Grand Island, NE, will use different lunch shifts to allow workers prayer time during Ramadan.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "As you know, the stock market completely crashed yesterday,” but "market analysts are…calling it a ‘correction.'” That is kind "of like saying UCLA had a close game” last weekend when it lost 59-0 to BYU.
Jay Leno: "I don't think President Bush gets it. He doesn't really understand these economic issues. Like today,” when "he was asked if customers should be concerned by all these bank closings,” Bush "said, ‘If the bank is closed, you just use the ATM.'”
Jay Leno: "And of course the presidential election now down to the choice of Barack Obama and what's his name versus Sarah Palin and what's his name.”
Jay Leno: "I'm not sure if Sarah Palin knows what to do about the economy either. Do you think she has any experience? She was asked today what to do in a bear market. And she said, ‘Well, you should shoot it, and then skin it.'”
Jay Leno: "Well, as you all know, during the interview with Charles Gibson last week on ABC, Sarah Palin did not know what the Bush Doctrine was. But to be fair, a month ago, she didn't know who John McCain was either.”
Jay Leno: "Well, John McCain and Sarah Palin attended a campaign rally in Vienna, Ohio, today. … Apparently, they went to Vienna so Sarah Palin could get some foreign policy experience.”
Jay Leno: "But” Sarah Palin "is popular. … You know who's got to be depressed about all this? Hillary Clinton. I mean, look at this woman. She works hard, goes to Wellesley, goes to Yale, graduates with honors; devotes her entire life to public service. Now she's starting to realize if she had just put on makeup and shot a moose, she'd be on her way to the White House.”
Jay Leno: "Earlier this evening, Barack Obama was in Hollywood at a…sold-out fundraiser featuring Barbra Streisand singing.” The event, which cost "$28,500,” featured "dinner prepared by the finest Hollywood chefs serving an array of gourmet food. And the topic tonight was how John McCain is out of touch with the common people.”
Jay Leno: "John McCain said again today that the ‘fundamentals of our economy' are still sound,” to "which O.J. Simpson said, ‘Hey, is it too late to get him on the jury?'”
Craig Ferguson: "One of John McCain's advisors is saying McCain helped invent the Blackberry. … I'm like, oh, come on. They should've gone with something more believable, like John McCain helped invent fire” or "the wheel.”
Craig Ferguson: "The [Streisand] fundraiser” brought in "a lot of money.” Barack Obama "must be very happy, because nothing says, ‘I'm a man of the people,' like a star-studded dinner in the Beverly Hills Hotel.”
Craig Ferguson: "Do you really think it's a good idea have a $9 million fundraiser in Beverly Hills the day after the country's financial system crashes. I don't know if that is good judgment. That's like…having Mel Gibson come to your bar mitzvah.”
Conan O'Brien: "An adviser to John McCain…claimed today, just a couple of hours ago, that McCain helped create the Blackberry,” or, "as McCain calls it, ‘the fancy garage door opener.'”