Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 631.56 points, or 6.79 percent, to 8,674.69.
- The dollar bought 99.27 yen from 100.13.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 231.77, or 2.50 percent, to 9,033.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 73.35, or 4.14 percent, to 1,696.68.
- The 2-year Treasury note gained 6/32 to yield 1.618 percent. The benchmark 10-year note rose 1-2/32 to yield 3.735 percent.
- The dollar was at 100.13 Japanese yen, down from 101.78 yen, while the euro bought $1.3052, down from $1.3229 late Monday
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed 7 1/2 to 11 1/2 cents lower, which was a low-range close.
- Soybeans: Futures settled mostly 25 to 28 cents lower, although the November contract was 21 cents lower.
- Wheat: Futures finished in the lower end of the day's range.
- Cotton: Futures closed higher amid short-covering support.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted slight to sharp gains. December lean hog futures led the way amid a $1.52 gain.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures extended gains into the close to finish 70 cents to $1.20 higher.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Glory Days Fade for U.S. Farmers Plunging Crop Prices and Higher Costs Cloud Horizon for '09 Profits and Land Sales Farmers are still coping with high input costs which is putting more pressure on the sector as they deal with declining commodity prices. Also, the article notes experts predict that a land-price decline could unfold and last for up to five years.
- Plant-Import Rules Challenged . A provision in the 2008 Farm Bill, aimed at curbing illegal logging, requires importers to declare the origins of any plant matter in goods imported in to this country. However, some are fearing a broad implementation of the measure could severely affect commerce in a number of areas -- even affecting footwear, cosmetics, wine and powdered beverages since wood rosin is used in making those products.
- Argentina Makes Grab for Pensions Amid Crisis Argentina is opting to nationalize $29 billion in private pensions to help it cope with the global financial crisis and a downturn in commodity prices. The move may also help it stave off a second default in a decade. The step requires approval of Congress, but despite some opposition, the measure is still expected to be approved.
- Obama Opens Double-Digit Lead The latest WSJ/NBC News poll puts Sen. Obama ahead with a 52% to 42% lead. They note that more Americans appear to becoming more comfortable with the thought of Obama leading the country and that Alaska Gov. Palin actually undercuts Sen. McCain in terms of experience.
Ohio Voting Disputes Take on New Intensity
McCain Campaign Hopes to Exploit Obama's Weakness in Keystone Primary
Outsize Portion of Blacks Are Casting Early Ballots
Candidates' Cash Hoards Are Similar, but Ad-Spending Patterns Differ
- Europe Adds to Bank Plans in Bid to Blunt Likely Recession Some European governments are looking beyond injecting funds into banks in a bid to try and stave off major economic woes. Also, the International Monetary Fund said that all major European economies will enter recession in the coming months.
Turmoil Batters London's Status as Financial Center
UK Entering Recession, Central-Bank Head Says
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Lifeline for Automakers Dangles Just Out of Reach The loan program devised to help automakers may still take time to reach them as the administration works on rules for the plan. Also, some of the provisions could make it tougher, including that the automakers must prove they can build vehicles at least 25 percent more fuel efficient as they work toward meeting new standards of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Also, it was targeted for facilities built at least 20 years ago, which the item notes basically locks the funds away from Japanese automakers.
- Fearing a Drought of Aid As Major Economies Totter, Bush Urges Commitment to World's Most Vulnerable President Bush is calling for foreign aid to be preserved in the wake of budget cutting and increased food costs, etc.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "How about the new Oliver Stone motion picture" that "opened today, 'W.'? Yes, and I want to tell you something. If there is one thing I can't get enough of, it's the Bush family."
David Letterman: "You know when you have a movie like that about a guy who is alive, you wonder if they took some liberties with the truth. In one scene, I don't know if this is accurate or not, President Bush is seen actually reading a national security memo. And I thought, now, is that -- I don't know."
Conan O'Brien: "Sarah Palin remains very popular." In "fact, this week in Tennessee, a man named his newborn baby after Sarah Palin. Yeah," he decided to do so "after he asked" the baby "to name three countries, and it just stared blankly into space."