Impacts of Economic Downturn

December 21, 2008 06:00 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 135.26 points, or 1.6 percent, to 8,723.78.

  • The dollar bought 89.67 yen, up from 89.24 yen.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.88, or 0.30 percent, to 8,579.11 -- down 0.59 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.95, or 0.77 percent, to 1,564.32 -- up 1.53 percent for the week.
  • The 10-year Treasury note fell 17/32 point, or $5.3125 for every $1,000 invested, at 114 12/32, to yield 2.132 percent, up from 2.078 percent Thursday.

  • The dollar was at  89.12 yen from 89.28 yen, while the euro was at $1.3923 from $1.4239 late Thursday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures ended the week under pressure due to profit-taking and outside market pressure.
  • Soybeans: Futures were just slightly lower on the close and for the week posted slight gains.

  • Wheat: Futures closed weaker, but for the week posted strong gains.
  • Cotton: Futures closed off their weekly highs, but still posted solid gains for the week.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures were weaker, but spreading was a featured activity this week, as deferred futures gained on nearbys.
  • Live Cattle: February cattle posted a bullish reversal and ended near weekly highs.

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)






Dec. 22

Grain Inspections (A)
Cotton Ginnings(N)

Catfish Processing(N)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Cold Storage (N)
Chickens and Eggs (N)
Wheat Data (E)
Feed Grains Database


Weather - Crop Summary (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (E)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
Peanut Prices (N)


Holiday - Merry Christmas!


U.S. Export Sales (F)Dairy Products 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)

  • Democrats Try to Lower Expectations Democratic leaders are warning that even though an economic stimulus plan is a key priority, it won't be enough to pull the U.S. economy out of recession immediately.
  • China Faces Unrest as Economy Falters Seeking to Damp Anger, Authorities Meet Strike Leaders, Grant Concessions China's government is grappling with worker unrest as their economy has taken a beating, but it appears the government is willing to put up with a certain amount of unrest provided it doesn't take on the appearance of a political uprising.
  • GM Prepares Ground for Post-Holiday Talks With UAW Big negotiations with the UAW, the Obama administration and others will wait until after the new year, according to the report.
  • Developers Ask U.S. for Bailout as Massive Debt Looms. Property developers are the latest to be signaling they'll need help as many have debt obligations maturing in the next three years.

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • More Firms Cut Labor Costs Without Layoffs Not all companies are using job cuts and layoffs to weather the economic situation, as some are putting in four-day workweeks, freezing wages, using unpaid vacations, etc., to try and stay afloat. And in some cases, the workers are buying into the efforts.
  • Cheney Defends Bush on President's Role Vice President Cheney is defending the Bush administration's use of executive powers and says history will eventually look favorably on their role. He also criticized the view of the vice president's office offered by incoming VP Joe Biden.
  • Obama Announces Task Force to Assist Middle-Class Families. Vice President Biden will head up a task force in the new administration to assist working families. It will also have the secretaries of labor, education, commerce, and health and human services, as well as the top economic advisers to the president.
  • Exports From Japan Fall at a Record Pace. Japanese exports fell at a record pace of 26.7% in November, the steepest drop since the data was compiled starting in 1980.

Washington Post

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "It was so cold in Chicago,” Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was "trying to sell Senate seat warmers.”

Jay Leno: "The roads were closed in Malibu. In fact, there was so much snow, a lot of celebrities couldn't get to the global warming conference.”

Jay Leno: "I tell you,” the "economy's rough. … People are standing behind President Bush just to get the free shoes.”

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