Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished 0.1 percent, or 15.08 points, higher at 13,067.21.
- The dollar bought 106.93 compared with ¥106.82 late in the New York session.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 236.77 points, or 2.1 percent, to finish at 11,147.44 -- back in bear-market territory. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.6 percent, or 59.55 points, to 2,234.89.
- The 2-year Treasury note was up 6/32, yielding 2.381 percent. The benchmark 10-year note was recently up 19/32, yielding 3.815 percent. The 30-year bond was up 22/32, yielding 4.414 percent.
- The dollar traded at 106.81 yen from 107.48 yen, while the euro rose to $1.5737 from $1.5655 Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures opened lower and finished near opening levels to close 9 3/4 to 10 1/2 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures opened slightly higher and extended gains to close 17 to 31 3/4 cents higher.
- Wheat: Futures closed lower, remaining under pressure through the day on spillover from the corn market.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply higher, finding support from outside markets.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed 87 cents to $2.30 higher, sharply extending early gains as buy stops were triggered.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw two-sided trade, but favored a firmer tone through the day.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Gas Prices Spur Drivers to Cut Use to Five-Year Low Supply Not an Issue, But Other Demand Keeps Oil Price High Gasoline consumption the first week of July dropped 3.3% from last year to 9.347 million barrels a day, the lowest since the same week in July 2003. But demand for other fuels is said to be a factor in keeping oil prices high.
A Bipartisan Fix for the Oil Crisis Commentary item by Gulf Oil chief Joseph Petrowski.
- Over 1,000 Sickened in Salmonella Outbreak Jalapeños Faulted For Some Illnesses; A Death in Texas The numbers keep rising from the recent salmonella outbreak, with peppers now eyed as another product involved in the situation.
- FDA to Team With Australia, EU for Overseas Inspections The three governments will coordinate on the pilot program as foreign inspections are an area where the U.S. FDA admits it lacks the resources.
- Enforcement head leaves U.S. commodity agency Exit comes amid call for futures regulator to tighten oversight. The chief of enforcement at the CFTC is leaving after 6 1/2 years to join a private law firm.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- As Outbreak Affects 1,000, Experts See Flaws in Law As the level of people affected by the salmonella outbreak bested 1,000, some are citing the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 as a factor. Under that law, importers, processors and distributors are to keep track of the origin of produce. But if they repackage the items, they are not required to keep that information.
- Cutting Out the Middlemen, Shoppers Buy Slices of Farms Some consumers are bypassing the grocery store and even farmers markets and are opting to invest in farms -- also known as community supported agriculture. In New York City, there are now 61 of these CSA's, up from 37 in 2005.
- Iran Launches Nine Test Missiles, Says More Are Ready U.S. Plays Down Military Showdown U.S. officials were trying to downplay the situation, noting that a lot of "signals" are being sent in the region right now and they labeled the use of force as only a last-ditch option.
- At Summit, More Promises of African Aid Amid Fears of the G-8 Missing Its Goals, Some Urge 'Turning Words Into Action' The summit resulted in G-8 countries pledging more aid to Africa and setting up mechanisms to make sure that such aid is delivered as promised.
- Officials Add Jalapeños To Salmonella Warning FDA now says jalapeno peppers should be avoided as they can potentially be linked to the salmonella outbreak that has now affected more than 1,000 people -- the largest outbreak of its kind in 10 years.
- Senate Panel Approves Three CFTC Nominees. The Senate Ag Committee approved the nomination of Walter Lukken, Bart Chilton and Scott O'Malia to serve at the agency. The nominations still need Senate approval.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Ethanol's bum rap disputed by ag secretary USDA Sec. Ed Schafer said in Nebraska that energy prices are more of a culprit in the runup in commodity prices than demand from ethanol production. He also noted that members of the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. declined invitations to discuss the situation and review a USDA study on the factors going into increased food/commodity prices.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Harkin considering disaster bill Harkin said he would ready the legislation in case USDA doesn't think it has the authority to issue advance payments under the new disaster program.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "A lot of folks from out of town, am I right about that? You're here at a good time in New York City because next month, all the hookers leave for Minneapolis for the Republican Convention.”
David Letterman: "Hillary is now campaigning with and for Barack Obama.” During the day, they "will attend…various functions on the campaign trail. Then at night, they go back to separate hotels. So you -- now wait a minute. No, that's Hillary and Bill.”
Jimmy Kimmel: "Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned for the first time together in Unity, New Hampshire, today. Isn't that cute? … Their tour then, I guess, goes…to Toleration, Rhode Island; then to Annoyed, Arkansas; Getting On My Nerves, Virginia”; and "Screaming Fight, Nevada.”
Jimmy Kimmel: "I guess there was one small incident where she jumped behind the wheel of the bus and tried to run him over. Other than that, Hillary and Barack seem to be getting along very well.”