Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was down 40.22 points, 0.5 percent, at 7,376.16.
- The dollar was at rose to 94.34 yen from 93.32 yen.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 100.28, or 1.3 percent, to 7,365.67 -- down 6.2 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.59, or 0.11 percent, to 1,441.23, down 6.1 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield was down to 2.79 percent from 2.86 percent.
- The dollar was at 93.05 yen, down from 94.32 yen, was at $1.2837, up from $1.2656 late Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures posted hefty losses today to finish the week sharply lower than last Friday's close.
- Soybeans: Futures posted hefty losses Friday to finish the week sharply lower than last Friday's close.
- Wheat: Chicago wheat futures finished narrowly mixed, while Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat posted slight losses Friday.
- Cotton: Futures posted modest losses for the week -- especially compared to the rest of the commodity world.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted sharp losses Friday and finished the week sharply lower than the prior Friday's close.
- Live Cattle: Sharp pressure on futures was largely due to outside markets, as the U.S. stock market dipped below the November 2008 low to finish the week.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- U.S. Eyes Large Stake in Citi Taxpayers Could Own Up to 40% of Bank's Common Stock, Diluting Value of Shares Discussions are underway that would see the U.S. government take a significant stake in Citigroup, in the range of 25% to 40%, according to the item. The move wouldn't cost additional money but would dilute the value of shares held by shareholders. And the item says it's possible that other options may surface.
Grip on Bank Would Tighten If Deal Is Set
The Problem With 'Nationalization' Editorial
- Stock-Market Pullback Isn't Just 'Financial' Now. Manufacturers of a host of products are said to now be the biggest drag on the stock market, with many non-financial firms prompting more pressure on stock/financial markets than banking interests.
- Obama Pushes Firmer Budget Rules President Wants Any New Measures That Widen Deficit Offset by Spending Cuts. President Obama is expected to this week unveil his budget plan and include a call to return to pay-go budgeting where any tax cut or spending increase that wasn't accompanied by a budget offset would see a mandatory reconciliation, across-the-board cut used to find the money to pay for the plan. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expected to bristle at the suggestion.
- Miles of Idled Boxcars Leave Towns Singing the Freight-Train Blues As Slumping Railroads Run Out of Parking, an Indiana Hamlet Is Divided by Wall of Cars The economic downturn has trimmed freight demand and that has resulted in rail companies parking railcars by the hundreds and thousands, shipping companies have idled freighters and trucking firms have trailers sitting unused. Union Pacific said it typically has 4,000 to 6,000 cars idled, but currently has close to 50,000 sitting unused.
- EPA Set to Move Toward Carbon-Dioxide Regulation Climate Czar Says Agency Will Determine That Greenhouse Gas Endangers Public, Propose New Emissions Rules Environment czar Carol Browner said the Obama administration is poised to make an endangerment finding relative to carbon dioxide emissions and the next step in the process is to draft rules to regulate such emissions from a host of industries.
- Clinton Puts China Focus on Economy, Not Human Rights. Clinton didn't mention human rights issues in her visit to China, instead focusing on the economic links between the two sides and thanked China for their purchases of U.S. Treasuries.
- Bankruptcy Funding Solicited for Car Makers. While a focus is on avoiding bankruptcy for U.S. automakers, some are starting to work on lining up bankruptcy financing in the event that it might be needed.
The Benefits of GM Bankruptcy
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Sooey! Manure gives off the whiff of money Hog farmers recall it wasn't all that long ago that they had to search for ways to get rid of their hog manure. Now, however, they've farmers practically knocking at their door to get at this supply of fertilizer as the cost of chemically based fertilizers continues to climb.
Denver Post (Colorado)
- Ethanol plans move ahead Two Colorado firms are said to be moving ahead with plans to build a cellulosic ethanol plant in Oregon that would produce 1 million gallons a year, still far short of a level needed to be considered a commercial operation.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Hey, the market went up three points today, so the stimulus package is working. Yeah! It's a miracle!”
Jay Leno: "Yesterday, President Obama signed the stimulus bill in Denver, Colorado. He picked Denver because our debt is now a mile high.”
Jay Leno: "President Obama, today, outlined his plan to deal with the mortgage mess and the housing crisis. The good news -- he thinks he's found a solution. The bad news -- it involves arson.”