Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 79.86 points, or 1 percent, to 7,924.24.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 172.60, or 2.05 percent, to 8,591.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 42.58, or 2.94 percent, to 1,492.38.
- The 10-year Treasury note was up 4/32, to 109 10/32, to yield 2.678 percent from 2.691 percent Tuesday. The 30-year bond yield fell to 3.184 percent from 3.197 percent on Tuesday.
- The dollar was at 93.41 yen, up from 93.28 yen, while the euro was at $1.2712, down from $1.2705 Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures favored slight gains most of the day, but closed steady to marginally lower.
- Soybeans: Futures were unable to hold midday gains and closed mixed.
- Wheat: Futures slumped into the close to finish on or near session lows.
- Cotton: Futures opened weaker, but gradually firmed and finished slightly higher.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted moderate to sharp losses and finished in the middle to lower end of the day's range.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade, but finished weaker as short-covering support waned.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- U.S. Eyes Plan to Lift Home Sales Treasury Considers Encouraging Banks to Offer Mortgages at Rates as Low as 4.5% The plan that is being considered would temporarily use the clout of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to encourage banks to lend at rates as low as 4.5%. However, it's not clear the plan will be ready by the end of the Bush administration.
- Obama Keeps His Distance From Treasury on TARP Paulson Can't Ask Congress for Second Tranche of $350 Billion Unless He Knows Next Administration's Plans for the Money The item says the president-elect and his transition team have resisted urgings from the Bush administration that they become more involved on the rescue plan details, but the transition team has pushed back some, saying we can only have one president at a time.
- China Says It May Use Yuan to Help Stability Financial analysts have taken note of a statement by China's State Council that it plans to use a range of means, including possibly its currency, to ensure its banking and financial systems function. "I'm very confident that the food available to customers here in China is high quality and safe,"
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Treasury Weighs Action on Mortgage Rates Intervention Would Aim to Buoy the Housing Market by Forcing Down the Cost of Loans Under the plan, the government would offer to buy securities that finance newly issued loans for home purchases but would require those that participate to offer low-interest rates on the mortgages they would issue to consumers in return.
- In Transition Agriculture The paper profiles three they say are in consideration for the USDA post: Kan. Gov. Sebelius, former Rep. Stenholm, and Penn. Ag Sec. Wolff.
- Gene-Altered Cotton in Feed An unauthorized strain of genetically modified cotton was accidentally mixed in with other harvested cotton in Texas last month, and the cottonseed was mixed into animal feed.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
Denver Post (Colorado)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Little bit of history trivia. It was this week, actually yesterday, in 1961," that Fidel Castro "announced...he was a Marxist and would turn Cuba into a communist country where the government would take over all the major industries. Or as we call that today, a bailout."
Jay Leno: "In an interview with President Bush just released this week," Bush "says he wants to be remembered as the man who liberated 50 million people. Well, when you think about it, he did. I mean, thanks to him, 50 million Americans are now liberated from their savings account, their 401(k)s, car payments, mortgage..."
Jay Leno: "Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss" won "the runoff election for the Senate seat for Georgia. Republicans think that Sarah Palin campaigning him for him helped him win. ... You know, this is the first candidate she's helped elect since, I guess, Barack Obama."