Focus on Commodities

July 6, 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 up 0.9 percent, or 122.15 points, at 13,360.04 -- breaking its string of 12 consecutive declines.

  • The dollar rose above ¥107 yen.

Thursday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 73.03 points, or 0.7 percent, at 11,288.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.3 percent, or 6.08 points, to 2,245.38.
  • The 2-year Treasury note was up 3/32, yielding 2.529 percent. The benchmark 10-year note slipped 4/32 to yield 3.975 percent. The 30-year bond was off 14/32, yielding 4.530 percent.

  • The dollar traded at 106.77 yen, from 106.74 yen, while the euro was trading at $1.5699 against the euro, compared with $1.5701.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures wrapped up a volatile week with slight losses on pressure from sharp gains in the U.S. dollar and differing opinions on upcoming weather.
  • Soybeans: Futures closed 5 to 12 cents higher in old-crop contracts, while new-crop contracts were 1 to 3 cents higher.

  • Wheat: Futures closed out the week with a round of slight gains Thursday.
  • Cotton: Futures finished narrowly mixed after a choppy, pre-holiday session.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished widely mixed Thursday in light pre-holiday trade.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures ended mixed.

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 7

Grain Inspections (A)
Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts - Ann. (N)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Vegetables (N)


World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (W)
Crop Production (N)
Cotton: World Markets and Trade (F)
Grains: World Markets and Trade (F)
Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (F)
World Agricultural Production (F)
Dairy Products Prices (N)
Dairy: World Markets and Trade
Mink (N)
Season-Average Price Forecasts (E)
Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data (E)
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)

  • Commodities Regulator Under Fire CFTC Scrutinized As Congress Looks Into Oil-Price Jump The Commodity Futures Trading Commission faces a series of hearings this week by the House Ag Committee on the current market climate, and the agency is under fire for its reaction/stance as market turmoil continues.
  • GM Weighs More Layoffs, Sale of Brands Worries Over Cash, Plunging Share Price Prompt Strategy Shift; Saturn Gets Scrutiny The report says all but Chevy and Cadillac are under close scrutiny at the automaker as it mulls its options. Job cuts are also under consideration as the company mulls how to stay competitive in the current climate.
  • Economic Worries Sour Mood Toward Congress Feedback May Spur Action on Housing, Gasoline Prices Gas prices are one of the key issues with voters and the lack of action in Washington is being reflected in low ratings for Congress. The article ponders whether voter angst over the July 4th holiday weekend will translate into action the balance of the year ahead of the November elections.
  • Tumult Surrounds G-8 Summit, But Bush Is Bullish on Progress U.S. President Bush is predicting "success" at the G-8 summit this week, which will in a large part focus on the food price and supply situation and its impact on the poorest countries.

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • Quietly, Brazil Eclipses an Ally Brazilian president Lula has managed to steer his country through difficult political waters and has been able to curry favor with the U.S. and distance himself from Venezuela's Chavez.
  • Economy's Move to the Fore Poses Problems for Both Candidates Both presidential candidates have a sizable task in front of them: Connecting with voters on the issue of the economy as gasoline prices head over $4 per gallon and job worries mount.

Washington Post

  • Pension Funds Boosted By Oil While Stocks Fall, Commodity Bets Are Paying Off Despite declines posted by major stock indices, pension funds who invested in commodities like oil are seeing strong returns on that front; some note this year would have been "a lot worse" without those investments as part of their portfolios.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

David Letterman: "Big ruling coming out of the Supreme Court. They have ruled individuals have the right to carry guns.” But do not "think you can just go into a gun store and buy a gun. No, no, no. There is still a strict 15-minute waiting period.”

David Letterman: "But when the decision was read, it created pandemonium. Court Justice Scalia had to fire two warning shots to settle people down.”

David Letterman: "And then at the White House, just for fun, Dick Cheney went out and peppered a buddy with some bird shot.”

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