Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8.05, or 0.1 percent, to 8,016.9. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.60, or 0.3 percent, to 1,673.81.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 3.01 percent from 2.91 percent.
- The dollar was at was at 96.44 yen, from 96.80 yen Monday, while the euro was at $1.3144, off a session high of $1.3167, and from $1.3032.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures opened slightly lower, but saw short-covering to lift futures above unchanged.
- Soybeans: Old-crop soybean futures closed 11 to 15 cents lower, while new-crop futures were mostly 3 to 4 cents lower.
- Wheat: Chicago wheat closed mostly around 2 cents higher, while Kansas City wheat was mostly around 1 cent higher and Minneapolis wheat finished with a mixed tone.
- Cotton: Futures favored a weaker tone, closing 32 to 76 points lower in all but the May contract, which closed 8 points higher.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed sharply lower to extend this week's deep price decline.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade, finishing narrowly mixed.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Virus's Arrival Is Reported on Four Continents Possible Cases Emerge in the Middle East and Asia; Data Show Illnesses in U.S. Are More Severe Than First Thought More cases have popped up in the U.S. than thought and the pork industry has urged the government to change the virus's moniker to H1N1 instead of swine flu.
Mexico's High Death Rate Poses Key Question on Virus
Small Town Finds Itself Upended by a Public-Health Crisis
- Senator Defects to Democrats Specter's Switch Puts Obama on Verge of Filibuster-Proof Majority Over GOP The move by Sen. Specter bring's Democrats to 59 seats in the Senate and if Al Franken (D-Minn.) is seated, it would give the party a filibuster-proof 60-vote tally. However, Specter pledged he wouldn't vote his new party line much like he didn't vote with Republicans 100% of the time, either.
GOP Confronts Its Future Viability
Procedural Control of Senate Hinges on Minnesota
Capital Journal: Perils Behind Specter's Shocker
Wash Wire: 'Devastating' for Moderate Republicans
Specter's Switcheroo Editorial
What Specter's Defection Means Opinion item.
- Citi Seeks Approval to Pay Out Bonuses Apparently seeking to avoid the storm of criticism that erupted over AIG paying bonuses, Citigroup asked the government for permission to pay out bonuses to some of its key employees at its Philbro unit. The item notes the request was sought to pay out "retention" awards to perk up demoralized employees.
- Home Prices Sink Again, but Pace Is a Bit Slower Drop of 18.6% for February Is Widespread, With Half of Markets Posting Steeper Declines Than in the Previous Month Some interpret the data is a sign that the worst may be over for home-price declines. While all cities surveyed showed a decline, 16 of the 20 declined at a slower pace than they did in January.
Loan-Modification Plan Revised to Address Second Mortgages
- Making Sense of a Dizzying Ride. This is the headline from an entire special section dedicated to assessing the first 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Specter Leaves GOP, Shifting Senate Balance Democrats Are Poised to Hold A Powerful 60-Seat Majority The news arrived on the eve of Obama's 100th day in office and is poised to hand a political party in the U.S. a 60-vote majority in the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1978.
- U.S. Warns Other Nations Not to Ban Pork U.S. officials continue to press other countries not to ban imports of U.S. pork and are seeking to have the virus referred to as the H1N1 virus, not swine flu.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Great to be back. As you know, I was sick for two days last week. Had to go to the hospital" after "I ate a raw pig a friend brought back from Mexico."
Jay Leno: "But you learn a lot about the system. You know, like, people say, 'Oh, where do hospitals get the nerve to charge $10 for an aspirin?' ... See, this is why President Obama wants to do something about healthcare in this country. See, under his plan, hospital aspirin only costs a dollar maximum." Of "course, there would be a $9 tax on it."
David Letterman: "We're getting close to President Obama's first 100 days in office," and he has had to deal with "a lot of trouble," including a "global financial crisis, pirates," and "swine flu." Plus, "Obama's got a live-in mother-in-law. ... I'm telling you, this guy cannot catch a break."