Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed at 11,609.72 points, down 605.04 points or 4.95 percent -- a three-year low.
- The dollar traded at 103.83 yen from mid-107 yen levels before the weekend.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 504.48 points, or 4.4 percent, to 10,917.51 -- its lowest close since July 21, 2006 and biggest point drop since it lost 684.81 on Sept. 17, 2001. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 81.36, or 3.60 percent, to 2,179.91 -- its worst point loss since Jan. 4.
- The yield on the 2-year Treasury note fell below the fed-funds target rate of 2 percent and, at 1.788 percent. The 10-year note price surged more than two points to yield 3.482 percent.
- The dollar traded at 104.88 yen, down from 107.87 late on Friday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed 1/2 to 4 1/4 cents lower to finish mid-range.
- Soybeans: Futures finished mostly 23 to 24 cents lower.
- Wheat: Futures closed higher in Chicago, mostly higher in Minneapolis and mixed in Kansas City.
- Cotton: Futures closed 200-plus points lower and posted a low-range close.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished widely mixed.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 20 cents to $1.60 higher in all but the April contract, which finished 30 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)
- AIG, Lehman Shock Hits World Markets Focus Moves to Fate of Giant Insurer After U.S. Allows Investment Bank to Fail; Barclays in Talks to Buy Core Lehman Unit World financial markets felt the impact of the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and the woes face by insurer AIG. But some expressed relief that the markets didn't plummet further, though the Dow suffered its worst point drop since the Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks.
AIG Faces Cash Crisis As Stock Dives 61%
London, New York Stand to Suffer
Bush Speaks Out to Shore Up Confidence of Public, Investors
Wall Street's Woes Challenge Both Candidates
Market Tumult Spurs Fear -- and Hope, Too
Small Firms See Financing Harder to Get
Central Banks Elsewhere Take Action to Limit U.S. Impact
Surviving the Panic Editorial
Weathering Wall Street's Storm
Fed's Mettle Will Continue to Be Tested
Lehman in New Talks to Sell Assets to Barclays
- All Eyes Are on Fed's Meeting for Rates Ahead of the weekend developments concerning Lehman Brothers and others, expectations were for a steady interest rate stance by the Fed. Now markets have moved to assuming a rate cut when this afternoon's meeting concludes.
- Economic-Stimulus Plan Lacks Bipartisan Backing Republican leaders are still opposed to an economic stimulus plan being pushed by Democrats, signaling that the financial turmoil still hasn't shifted the gridlock in Washington.
- Creamery Case Has Palin Critics Taking Aim at Fiscal-Conservative Claim. The events that surround the Matanuska Maid creamery in Alaska are providing some with fodder to counter her claims of being a fiscal conservative. She overturned a decision by the creamery's board to close and eventually, the new board she appointed reached the same conclusion.
- BASF Poised to Acquire Rival Ciba Friendly Bid Targets Specialty Chemicals; Joining a Deal Wave BASF has launched a friendly offer worth almost $3 billion to acquire struggling Swiss rival Ciba Holding AG, expecting to wrap up the transaction in the first quarter of 2009.
- China Arrests 2 in Milk Scandal as Number of Sick Infants Rises. China arrested two suspected to contaminating infant formula that has sickened over 1,200 infants.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Joe Biden” put "his foot in his mouth the other day again. When out on the campaign trail, he told a crowd of people that Hillary Clinton ‘might have been a better pick for vice president than me,' to which Hillary said, ‘It's not too late!'”
Jay Leno: "She went back to Alaska for a while. So you know that what that means -- people can go back to ignoring John McCain again.”
Jay Leno: "No, I guess earlier today, up there in Alaska, she shot two campaign commercials, a moose, and a caribou.”
Jay Leno: "Look, I tell you though,” John McCain "is thrilled with his running mate! He's energized by this woman. In fact, he told the press today, Sarah Palin makes him feel as young as Larry King.”
Jay Leno: "This is something they do every election year. … They always ask voters, ‘Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?' You want to have a beer with any politicians, really?” McCain would "order a Budweiser, and then future generations would have to pay for it. Barack Obama would order some fancy European beer we couldn't afford. Sarah Palin would order a Moosehead and a shot.” Clinton, "he's still trying to tap the keg.” So "why would you want to drink with any of these people?”
Jay Leno: "According to a new study, 78% of Washington, DC, eighth graders can't do basic math.” But today, "President Bush said, ‘Let's focus on the positive. Let's look at the 48% who can.'”