Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average 244.98 points, or 3.2 percent, to 7,949.13.
- The dollar was at 98.63 yen from 98.22 yen late Monday in New York.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 7.01, or 0.1 percent, to 7,216.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 27.48, or 1.9 percent, to 1,404.02.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.96 percent from 2.90 percent late Friday.
- The dollar was at 98.17 Japanese yen from 98.03 yen, while the euro was at $1.2958 from $1.2915 late Friday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures posted slight gains for the day on heavy spillover from neighboring pits and outside markets.
- Soybeans: Futures posted 30-plus cent gains in most contracts.
- Wheat: Futures closed with gains in excess of 25 cents at all three exchanges.
- Cotton: Futures could only muster modest gains Monday and finished near session lows.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished slightly lower following an uneventful day of trade.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures finished narrowly mixed, while feeder cattle closed slightly lower.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Mexico Strikes Back in Trade Spat Mexico said it would hit $2.4 billion in U.S. goods with retaliatory tariffs in response for a provision in the omnibus fiscal year 2009 spending bill which terminated a pilot program for Mexican trucks to haul cargo in the U.S., a program opposed by the Teamsters Union. The White House has pledged to work to find a solution that "will meet the legitimate concerns of Congress and our [North American Free Trade Agreement] commitments."
The Teamsters War Editorial
- Political Heat Sears AIG Obama Vows to Block Bonuses, but It May Be Too Late; Firm Pressured to Repay U.S. AIG's decision to payout bonuses to those in company that work in their division that handles derivatives -- the same products that nearly folded the company -- was met with sharp rhetoric but in reality little action as the administration acknowledged to deny the bonuses could open them up to litigation that would cost more than the bonuses. Instead, the White House plans to pressure AIG on bonuses as part of any future aid the firm receives.
Austerity Tide Hits Florida Beaches
Dodd's Safe Perch Is Shaken by Bailout
The Real AIG Outrage Editorial.
Worry Grows Over Insurers As Ratings Slip
- Firms Face Off on Broadband Spending Determining how to spend the money in the economic stimulus package on broadband Internet is turning into a battle already, as some are pushing to use the dollars for improving existing broadband service while others say it should go to areas where there is no broadband available.
- Hamburg, Pick for FDA, Faces an Agency in Crisis. The item looks at challenges that will face the OBama administration's pick to head up the Food and Drug Administration, with lawmakers pushing for change at the agency.
- Brazil Leader Asks U.S. to Focus on Trade, Credit. Trade issues were high on the priority list for Brazil's President as he met with U.S. President Obama, saying that things were close for a Doha Round deal but obstacles remain.
- America Needs Comprehensive Energy, Climate Laws . Letters to the editor. Varying views on the coming issue of cap and trade/climate change.
- Obama to Avoid Auto Bankruptcies Task Force Seeks GM, Chrysler Changes Outside Court; Loans Unlikely to Be Recalled Early. The administration does not want to see U.S. automakers seeking aid to be forced into bankruptcy, but rather will focus efforts on restructuring the struggling companies.
Chrysler Presses Request for Further Loans
- Tyson Pursues Market for Pampered Pooches. The food company eyes the pet food market as one that is relatively recession proof, and will announce today that it has bought a stake in a firm called Freshpet, a company that is rolling out refrigerated dog food.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Obama in Effort to Undo Bonuses at AIG President Obama expressed outrage at reports that AIG is paying bonuses after being bailed out by the government, but efforts to recover the money will now likely be put into any future money AIG receives.
Citi Chief's Compensation Was $38.2 Million for 2008
- In Downturn, China Sees Path to Growth China is almost welcoming the economic downturn as it is allowing the country to keep inflation under wraps and to commence several public works projects for roads, rail lines, etc., that will provide long-term benefits to commerce in the country.
- Obama Acts to Aid Small Businesses. The Obama administration laid out its plan to help small businesses by buying up $15 billion in securities linked to small business loans and issued assurances that the funds would not be used to prop up firms that should be allowed to fail.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Cattlemen say manure rules pose threat Cattlemen say rules proposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that would ban manure applications between Feb. 15 and April 15 on frozen or snow-covered ground.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Hey, before we get started tonight, I want to remind any potential cabinet members you have until April 15th to not pay your taxes, okay?”
Jay Leno: "Well, earlier this week, President Obama took on the teachers union by saying he wants merit pay for teachers and to fire the ones who do not perform well.” That is "pretty bold. A Democrat taking on the unions? That's like Rush Limbaugh going after the donut manufacturers.”
Jay Leno: "And there was a big rally on Wall Street yesterday after Citigroup reported a profit for the first two months of the year. That just goes to show you what determination, hard work, and $45 billion of our bailout dollars can do.”
David Letterman: Barack Obama "said he may negotiate with the Taliban. A lot of people are saying okay, but be careful.” But "I said this guy has experience negotiating with the enemy. For gosh sake, he lives with his mother-in-law, you know.”
David Letterman: "And the Republican Party says they want a big tent.” They "want to be all-inclusive, they want the big tent, and they're going to make it out of Rush Limbaugh's pants.”
Jimmy Fallon: "President Obama created a new White House Council on Women and Girls,” which "deals with all things related to women. When Bill Clinton heard about it, he said, ‘Why didn't I think of that?'”
Jimmy Kimmel: "President Obama today said he believes American children should go to school longer, either staying later in the day every day or longer into the summer if we want to stay competitive with other countries. The President said we can't stick with a school calendar that was created during a time when most Americans were farmers. And he's right. We need a new school calendar for a time when most Americans are unemployed.” how about that"