Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 37.72 points, or 0.4 percent, to 9,080.84.
- The dollar was at 93.67 yen, compared to 92.86.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 81.80, or 0.91 percent, to 8,952.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 4.18, or 0.26 percent, to 1,628.03.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.48 percent from 2.39 percent late Friday.
- The dollar traded at 93.32 yen from 92.28, while the euro was at $1.3574 from $1.3851 late Friday afternoon.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures favored a weaker tone through the day, finishing mostly around 1 to 2 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures closed 8 to 13 cents higher, which was in the upper end of the day's range.
- Wheat: Futures rallied late to finish slightly higher at all three exchanges.
- Cotton: Futures saw a choppy day of trade, favoring the downside through the day.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed with slight to sharp losses.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed mixed amid spreading, while feeder cattle were $1.15 to $1.40 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)
- Hard-Hit Families Finally Start Saving, Aggravating Nation's Economic Woes Economists now expect the rate to rebound to 3% to 5%, or even higher, in 2009, among the sharpest reversals since World War II. The item also looks at two Idaho families and what they have been doing in the wake of the economic downturn.
What a Penny Saved Costs
- Banks Don't Need to Be Forced to Lend The last thing we need is Congress setting business models. Opinion item by Bert Ely, principal in Ely & Co., Inc., is a financial institutions and monetary policy consultant.The writer argues that banks are indeed still lending and they really don't need to be forced by Congress or the administration to make more loans. And, he says forcing some banks to lend more could actually cause them to make more bad loans.
- Stimulus Plan Would Expand Tax Credit for Poor President-Elect Seeks Input From Republicans as He Begins Effort to Win Lawmakers' Backing for Possible $775 Billion Package President-elect Obama met with lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, relative to the coming stimulus plan. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he thought it was possible to approve a stimulus plan in the timeframe seen by Obama -- within the next six weeks.
With Billions at Stake, Business Lobbyists Vie for a Piece
Write-Offs a Boon to Builders, Bankers
Feel Like a Trillion Bucks Only WWII was pricier than Obama's stimulus plans. Review & Outlook item.
- Democrats' Factions Could Stall Grand Plans. Democrats aren't quite unified as the new Congress takes over today and that may pose a challenge for the party as it seeks to move forward its agenda. Some are comparing this to the Congress that was seated in 1933 and ended up passing 16 laws in the first 100 days of the Roosevelt administration.
- Russia Diverts Gas Supplies Bound for EU as Clash With Ukraine Worsens. The European Union has sent representatives to meet with both Russia and Ukraine as the dispute between the two over natural gas is rising.
- CEO Quits at Meat Giant Tyson Richard Bond Departs as 78-Year-Old Don Tyson Becomes More Active. Dick Bond has exited Tyson Foods, and Don Tyson has been more active of late in operations of the company. The firm also named Leland E. Tollett, a former CEO, to that post temporarily as it searches for a replacement.
- CME Reports Sharp Dropoff in December Futures Trading . The CME Group reported a 22% fall in average daily trading activity in December, noting that it has posted year-on-year declines in trade activity in four of the last 12 months.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Obama Pitches Stimulus Plan GOP Asked to Help Design Bill; $300 Billion in Tax Cuts Sought President-elect Obama is seeking out the input of Republicans in trying to craft a stimulus plan to be presented to Congress. While Republicans welcomed the session with Obama, they still expressed concern about the size of the package and some of the provisions being discussed.
- Richardson, Obama Teams Trade Blame The Obama team says the New Mexico governor/staff weren't as forthcoming as they should have been, but those close to Richardson say they alerted the transition team, etc., on the matter.
- Putin Orders Reduction in Gas Sent to Europe Through Ukraine The latest action is a sign that tensions are rising, not dissipating, between Russia and Ukraine and it is more likely their actions will affect other countries. Gazprom would compensate European customers by sending more gas via Belarus and Turkey.
||Monitoring the countryside
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Johanns happy with humble office Nebraska's newest senator is working out of a double-wide trailer until permanent office space is assigned in one of the three Senate office buildings.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: Top Ten Messages Left On Rod Blagojevich's Answering Machine 10. "For 10 grand can you make me Pope?" 9. "Hello, is this the Blog-o-bloga-a-da-go-bl-vipivh residence?" 8. "Hi, it's O.J. Wanna be cellmates?" 7. "Oh, I'm sorry, I think I have the wrong Blagojevich" 6. "Hi, it's Larry Craig -- did I hear something about a Senator's seat being available?" 5. "I'm calling about your Senate seat on Craigslist. Want to trade for a futon?" 4. "Hey, it's Cheney -- Damn even I think you're sleazy" 3. "You really Blagojevich'd your political career" 2. "I'm guessing you didn't spend the bribe money on that haircut" 1. "It's Sarah Palin. Thanks for replacing me as the country's most embarassing governor"