Snapshot of news and events for today
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average tumbled 345.43 points or
2.8 percent to 12,212.23, the lowest close since March 18 when the index
finished at 11,964.16. The index declined 6.6 percent over the week.
- Dollar rallies against euro. The euro was at $1.4239
against the U.S. dollar at 9:45 a.m. London time from $1.4498 yesterday.
It touched $1.432, the lowest since Dec. 21. The European currency has
dropped for six straight days.
Thursday U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 344.65 points, or
3 percent, to 11,188.23, its lowest close since July 28. The Nasdaq
Composite Index tumbled 3.2 percent to 2,259.04. .
- The 2-year Treasury note rose 5/32 to yield 2.193 percent.
The benchmark 10-year note was up 19/32 to yield 3.634 percent. The
30-year bond rose 27/32 to 4.270 percent.
- The euro fell to its lowest level of the year against the
dollar Thursday, and the U.K. pound also got crushed, after
the European Central Bank downgraded its economic-growth forecast for
2009 to as low as 0.6 percent.
| Ag futures
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures posted a choppy day of trade and didn't stray
too far from unchanged. Futures closed mostly around 2 1/4 cents higher
on light short-covering.
- Soybeans: Futures closed 16 to 17 cents lower, which was a
low-range close. Meal finished narrowly mixed, while soyoil was sharply
lower on spillover from the crude oil market.
- Wheat: Chicago wheat closed 2 1/4 to 3 1/4 cents higher, while
Kansas City closed steady to 1 3/4 cents higher and Minneapolis was
3 cents higher to 3 1/4 cents lower.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply lower on pressure from outside
- Lean Hogs: Hog futures closed mixed after a two-sided day of
trade as traders reevaluated positions. October hogs closed 37 cents
lower, with December and February down 35 to 57 cents.
- Live Cattle: Cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade and finished
narrowly mixed. Feeder futures favored a firmer tone in mixed trade.
reports affecting agriculture
to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for
- McCain Vows End to 'Rancor,' Betting on Maverick Appeal
McCain will seize the Republican nomination he has sought for almost
a decade by pledging to reach across partisan divides. The pledge, in
advance excerpts of his remarks, is designed to help him reclaim the
image of an agent of change at a time when his image as a maverick has
- Have Knife, Will Travel: A Slaughterhouse on Wheels
Farmer Bruce Dunlop could haul his animals 150 miles to the nearest
slaughterhouse. Instead, he just calls on his friendly roving neighborhood
- Power Outages Hamper Gasoline Refining While refineries
along the Gulf Coast escaped significant damage from Hurricane Gustav,
power outages in the region could linger for weeks, slowing efforts
to bring gasoline production back to prestorm levels.
- Slow Back-to-School Sales Signal Weak Holiday Season Ahead
Retailers reported weak August sales, capping a disappointing
back-to-school season and signaling that the crucial holiday period
could be the weakest in years.
- South Korea Fights to Prop Won As It Traverses
a Host of Woes A slide in South Korea's won is prompting the
government to take aggressive moves to prop up the currency.
- Dow Falls 344.65 As Hedge Funds Go on Defense Downbeat
employment figures, disappointing retail sales data and growing speculation
about troubles at major hedge funds conspired to send stocks tumbling
to their worst loss in more than two months.
New York Times (registration to site required)
McCain Vows to End ‘Partisan Rancor,’ Seizing Theme of Change
From Rival Senator John McCain sought to move from a convention
marked by an effort to reassure the party base to an appeal to a broader
House Chairman Failed to Report $75,000 in Income Representative
Charles B. Rangel has owned a villa in the Dominican Republic since
1988 but never reported rental income on his tax returns.
Admits Building Flaws in Quake A Chinese government committee
said Thursday that a rush to build schools during the country’s
recent economic boom might have led to shoddy construction that resulted
in the deaths of thousands of students during a devastating earthquake
Bear Returns to Wall St. as Major Indexes Plunge The Dow
Jones industrial average plummeted 344.65 points on Thursday on a confluence
of poor news about the economy, although investors could not pin the
drop on any overriding reason.
Issues New Engine Rules Announcing what it called new “surf
and turf” standards, the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday
set stricter antipollution rules for engines that run pleasure boats,
lawn mowers and weed trimmers.
As Oil Prices Fall, OPEC Faces a Balancing Act The decline
in oil prices has been a welcome relief for consumers and a rare piece
of positive news in a bleak economic landscape. But for oil producers
that have grown accustomed to rising revenue, falling prices are turning
into a cause for concern, if not quite panic.
Main Bank of China Is in Need of Capital \China’s
central bank is in a bind. It has been on a buying binge in the United
States over the last seven years, snapping up roughly $1 trillion worth
of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed debt issued by Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac. Those investments have been declining sharply in value
when converted from dollars into the strong yuan, casting a spotlight
on the central bank’s tiny capital base.
'Change Is Coming,' McCain Says Accepting GOP Nomination,
Veteran Senator Calls For Putting Country's Interests Before Party Loyalty
Sen. John McCain of Arizona completed a long and often improbable journey
to the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night, offering himself
as an "imperfect servant" who will never surrender in his
fight to change Washington and the country.
Emissions Standards Tightened EPA Sets New Limits for
Lawn Equipment, Boat Motors The Environmental Protection Agency
yesterday tightened emissions standards for new gasoline-powered lawn
mowers, weed trimmers and boat engines, reducing the amount of smog-causing
pollution these motors will be allowed to emit.
Stocks Take a Beating Weak Jobs and Retail Reports
Set Markets on Day's Big Slide
Stocks tumbled yesterday, recording one of their worst declines of the
year in a session that started weak and grew increasingly worse as the
day wore on.
U.S. Spied on Iraqi Leaders, Book Says Woodward Also
Reveals That Political Fears Kept War Strategy Review 'Under the Radar'
The Bush administration has conducted an extensive spying operation
on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his staff and others in the Iraqi
government, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor
Forum (North Dakota)
resources behind demand, report says Rep. Earl Pomeroy
(D-N.D.) met with representatives from local food banks, churches and
shelters to discuss nutrition programs in North Dakota and how a provision
of the 2008 Farm Bill might help lessen the burden some families face.
The legislation addresses rising food prices by investing $10.4 billion
in nutrition programs, Pomeroy said.
Moines Register (Iowa)
with, not at
Jay Leno: “Well…Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane
Hanna have been downgraded to tropical storms. That’s certainly
good news. Well, this downgrading is quite common. The same thing happened
last month to Hurricane Hillary. Remember?”
Jay Leno: “Well, they said that almost all the
thousand or so oil rigs in the Gulf had to be abandoned before the storm.
And then Dick Cheney said, ‘No, those are my children! No!’”
Jay Leno: “Well, you’ve got to admit, it
was kind of amazing, Joe Lieberman who ran as a Democrat in 2000 with
Al Gore,” spoke “last night at the Republican convention.
… That’s like Bill Clinton speaking at a sexual abstinence
Jay Leno: “And John McCain arrived in Minnesota
today. The last time McCain stopped in that state he was shooting buffalo
from a train. So, it’s been a while.”
Jay Leno: “You know, I don’t want to say
the Republicans are trying to distance themselves from President Bush,”
but did “you notice when Bush was speaking by satellite, they kept
trying to change the channel?”
Jay Leno: “And Governor Sarah Palin gave her
speech tonight at the GOP convention. And it gave people who didn’t
know anything about her a chance to finally meet her. You know, like John
Jay Leno: “I’ve got to admit, she looked
very comfortable at the podium, because it’s kind of like Alaska.
When you look out over the convention floor, nothing but white as far
as the eye can see.”
Jay Leno: “And we’re learning…more
and more about John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin,” who
is “a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and a firm
believer in shotgun weddings.”
Jay Leno: “Well, the good news, John McCain raised
$47 million in the month of August. The bad news, he can’t remember
where he put it.”
David Letterman: “You know, Sarah Palin,”
the “vice presidential running mate on the Republican ticket,”
likes “to shoot assault rifles. I’ll say this for her daughter’s
boyfriend. The kid’s got guts.”
David Letterman: “And earlier tonight,”
Sarah Palin “gave a tremendous speech to the Republicans, though
some are claiming it was actually her daughter’s speech.”
Conan O’Brien: “Vice presidential candidate
Sarah Palin has many views. She says she’s opposed to same-sex marriage.
… Yeah, Palin says everyone knows marriage isn’t for gay people,
it’s for pregnant teenagers.”
Conan O’Brien: “This week, John McCain
was endorsed by the gay group known as the Log Cabin Republicans. …
Yeah, they endorsed McCain, not because he supports gay rights, but because
he was actually born in a log cabin.”
Jimmy Kimmel: “Obviously they’re keeping
the less popular Republicans out of the spotlight” at the convention.
President Bush “gave a speech last night which couldn’t have
been more than five minutes long. Dick Cheney is in Azerbaijan, which
I think is the farthest possible point from Minneapolis on the globe.
And they actually locked Idaho Senator Larry Craig in the convention center
men’s room. Either that or he locked himself in. I’m not sure.”