Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 158.40 points, or 1.7 percent, to 9,239.24.
- The dollar was at 93.87 yen from 93.83 late in New York and off an early low of 93.21.
Tuesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.21, or 0.69 percent, to 9,015.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 24.35, or 1.50 percent, to 1,652.38.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 2.47 percent from 2.48 percent late Monday.
- The dollar was at 93.85 yen from 93.32 yen, while the euro was at $1.3255 from $1.3574 late Monday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior market day...
- Corn: Futures closed 15 to 16 cents higher, which was on or near session highs.
- Soybeans: Futures quickly extended gains in early trade and close mostly around 29 cents higher.
- Wheat: Futures posted 20-plus cent gains at all three exchanges as buy stops were triggered on spillover from neighboring pits and help from widespread commodity buying.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply higher in all contracts and near session highs.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures favored a firmer tone through the day. Futures closed higher in all but the June contract, which closed 7 cents lower.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures finished with slight to moderate gains and in the middle of the day's trading range in most contracts.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Fed Outlook Darkens on Economy December Minutes Reveal Concerns of Deep Recession; Alcoa to Cut 15,000 Jobs Fed staff have sharply reduced their economic forecasts for 2009, according to minutes of the last Fed meeting that were released on Tuesday. The Fed now sees a deep contraction in the first half of the year and slow growth in the second half that won't make up for the losses.
- Senate Rejects Blagojevich Pick on a Chaotic Day Rules Committee's Feinstein Contradicts Democratic Leadership and Asserts Burris Deserves to Be Illinois's Junior Senator Roland Burris was denied access to the Senate floor to be sworn in as Senator even though the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee argued that he should be installed as Senator. The Illinois Secretary of State did not sign the letter, which Senate leaders decided meant that it didn't meet the qualifications.
Service Union Chief Met With Blagojevich
- Obama Pushes States to Cover More Unemployed The stimulus plan from the Obama administration seeks to give states $7 billion in aid now to have them change their unemployment-insurance laws to cover part-time workers and prevent other laid-off workers from falling through cracks in the coverage. This came amid talk that the deficit will continue to be at least $1 trillion for the next several years.
- Steelmakers Move Cautiously To Raise Prices, Reopen Mills. Steelmakers in countries like the U.S., China and others are said to be raising steel prices and reopening some mills. However, it's not clear that these price increases will be retained. That will be dictated by customer reaction.
China's Plan to Assist Mills With Steel Stockpile Founders
- Beijing Woman Dies of Avian Flu. China confirmed the death and announced steps it was taking in the wake of the development.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Obama Predicts Years of Deficits Over $1 Trillion President-Elect Says Budget Reform Is 'Absolute Necessity' The article says it would seem likely that Congress will eventually be forced to go to something like across the board budget cuts in order to reduce federal red ink.
For 111th Congress, Somber Topics Eclipse Ceremony
- Obama Is Under Fire Over Panetta Selection Current, Ex-CIA Officials Criticize 'Opaque' Process The selection of former Clinton administration official Leon Panetta as the next CIA chief has raised concerns in Washington with lawmakers and some in the intelligence community. It prompted vice-president-elect Biden to say they had made a mistake in not notifying or consulting with intelligence-related lawmakers.
- In Cuba, Pinning Hopes on Obama Many Islanders Expect Better Relationship With U.S. Under New President The article looks at the Cuba-U.S. relationship situation from the perspective of Cuban citizens who expect a shift in things under President Obama.
- Russian Fuel Cuts Felt Across Europe Putin Blames Ukraine for Standoff Affecting More Than a Dozen Nations. Russia has cut off all of its shipments of natural gas to European countries that move through Ukraine, blaming Ukraine for the situation.
- Obama's SEC Pick Is No Joe Kennedy The article labels the nomination of Mary Schapiro to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission "as safe and predictable as it is disappointing."
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Moisture outlook improved A variety of conditions exist in the state, but moisture supplies are improved from year-ago levels.
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Johanns takes office in Senate Former USDA Secretary Mike Johanns (R) was sworn in as Nebraska's newest U.S. Senator. He hopes to land a spot on the Agriculture Committee and on a panel focused on financial issues.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Here in New York City, guess what, we have an acorn shortage.," and it is "so serious, this acorn shortage, squirrels are asking for a government bailout."
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama spent his first fill day in Washington since coming back from" his vacation in Hawaii, but "no matter where this guy is, he always manages to work out. ... Like, today, he spent most of the afternoon running from Bill Richardson."
Jay Leno: "Hey, congratulations to Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol," who "had her baby. They named the baby Tripp," which "is better than the name Sarah Palin suggested. She wanted to call the kid Joe the baby."
David Letterman: Top Ten Signs You Are Watching Too Much Football: "2. Laura has to keep reminding you you're still President for two more weeks."
Conan O'Brien: "President-elect Barack Obama said he got a little choked up as he left his house in Chicago and headed for Washington, DC. ... It was especially painful because as soon as he left," Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich "sold Obama's house."
Conan O'Brien: "George Bush Sr. recently said he'd like his son Jeb to be president, but that right now is a bad time for him to run. ... When asked what a good time would be, Bush Sr. said, 'Eight years ago.'"