H1N1 Flu Situation Continues to Dominate News

May 3, 2009 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...

  • Closed through Wednesday for holiday.

Friday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 44.29 points, or 0.5 percent, to 8212.42. For the week, the Dow gained 1.7 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.90 points, or 0.1 percent, at 1719.20 up 1.5 percent for the week.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 3.174 percent from 3.124 percent late Thursday.

  • The dollar was at 99.28 yen from 98.62 yen while the euro was at $1.3264 from $1.3230 late Thursday

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures posted strong late-session gains to finish the week with solid gains.
  • Soybeans: Futures started the week under pressure, but posted a sharp recovery and nearbys eclipsed the January high.

  • Wheat: Futures posted sharp gains to end the week.
  • Cotton: Futures posted sharp gains to end the week, greatly improving the technical makeup of the market.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw some short-covering to finish the week, but contracts closed well off session highs Friday.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures were choppy Friday, with traders waiting on cash news.

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)






May 4

Grain Inspections (A)
Dairy Products (N)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Peanut Prices

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)

  • New Strain of Flu Virus Spreads to 18 Countries As WHO Moves Closer to Pandemic Warning, 'We Cannot Overreact, and We Cannot Be Complacent,' Says Director-General The A/H1N1 strain had been reported in 18 countries and sickened 898 people as of Sunday, according to the WHO, which counts only cases that have been confirmed by a laboratory test. Those cases include 506 infections in Mexico, with 19 deaths -- far fewer than Mexican authorities originally indicated. The U.S. has reported 226 infections in 30 states and one death.
    Related items:
    China Forces Dozens of Mexican Travelers Into Quarantine
    Key Midterm Campaigns Start in Mexico
    Transmission of Virus a Puzzle for Scientists

  • Falling Thirst for Fuel Leaves Ethanol Enthusiasts With a Hangover. The decline in gasoline usage and the drive for greater fuel economy in the nation's motor fleet is presenting the latest challenge for ethanol producers.
  • Firms Face New Tax Curbs Obama Plan Aims to Limit Use of Offshore Havens by Multinationals and the Wealthy The plan will focus on removing the ability of firms and wealthy individuals to park funds in offshore banks to avoid paying taxes on the funds. But expectations are the plan will face a fight in Washington from business interests and others..
  • Banks Get Tougher on Credit Line Provisions Credit lines to businesses are still being offered, although the terms are typically shorter than they used to be and there's potentially higher fees/charges involved. It's sort of mirroring the consumer credit situation -- credit is moving but costs are higher.
  • The Big Bored: NYSE Traders Look for Diversions as Life Slows on Floor Even as Markets Gyrate, Electronic Trading Has Cut the Work; Solace in the 'Movie Room' Floor traders at the NYSE are finding they have much more time on their hands thanks to electronic trading. The number of floor traders has been cut in half over the past five years.
  • Asian Nations Unveil $120 Billion Liquidity Fund. Asian countries that are part of the Asian Development Bank have agreed to put together a $120 billion fund that countries can tap. Japan, South Korea and China will provide 80% of the $120 billion currency pool and Asean members the remaining 20%.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

  • Modified corn could provide vitamins From Sunday's editions. The item looks at the future of modifying crops to provide health benefits as scientists try to address hunger in Africa and other regions of the world.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "I'm a little bummed out today" because "I made a bad investment. So stupid! I opened a Chrysler dealership in Mexico City."

Jay Leno: President Obama "told the American people they should cover their mouths when they cough to prevent the spread of swine flu. And today, he told Joe Biden to cover his mouth whenever he talks."

Jay Leno: "I don't think Joe Biden's going to catch swine flu, but it's pretty obvious he has a case of foot-in-mouth disease."

Jay Leno: "Arlen Specter has been a Republican" for a long time, so it has "got to be tough. ... For years you're lying out of the right side of your mouth, and now suddenly you've got to start lying out the left side of your mouth."

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