Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- Closed for holiday
- In Asian trading, the dollar traded at 90.06 yen, down from 90.39.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 143.28, or 1.64 percent, to 8,599.18 -- down 4.8 percent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 45.42, or 2.81 percent, to 1,571.59 -- down 3.7 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 2.36 percent from 2.44 percent late Thursday.
- The dollar was at 90.30 yen, down from 91.17 yen, was at $1.3431, down from $1.3726 late Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures closed out last week very close to levels from the prior week.
- Soybeans: Futures posted very strong gains, finishing 40-plus cents higher today.
- Wheat: Futures posted strong gains today to close out a week of solid price strength.
- Cotton: Futures posted sharp losses today, but overall posted slight gains for the week.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed lower in all but the February contract, which was 2 cents higher.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures favored gains through the day amid short-covering, but ended mixed.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax Democrats Want to Freeze Levy at Current Levels Instead of Letting It Expire Next Year President-elect Obama will propose keeping the estate tax at current levels -- $3.5 million exemption per person and a tax rate of 45% on estate's above that level -- so the tax will not disappear in 2010 as scheduled. The Senate Finance Committee is seen acting on a plan soon.
- Obama Team in Talks to Tap TARP Lawmakers Are Told That Second Half of Rescue Fund Would Be Used Differently In order to win over lawmaker support, the Obama team is said to be proposing using the funds for new purposes, such as preventing foreclosures, and imposing tougher conditions on recipients.
- Bernanke to Diagram Policy That Is All Over the Map Attention will be focused on a speech that Fed Chairman Bernanke is to give to the London School of Economics in which he will lay out how the Fed arrived at its current position and potentially give some indication of where it will head in the future.
- Peanut Butter Suspected In Salmonella Outbreak Minnesota health officials are signaling a link between eating peanut butter and the salmonella outbreak. No other states have found this link. The company who made the peanut butter, King Nut, has issued a recall.
- Politics Tests Energy Goals. The item looks at the challenges facing Dr. Chu as he seeks to become the next Energy Secretary, although there are no comments directly from Chu. His confirmation hearing is set for Tuesday.
- Russia Delays Gas, Vexing EU. The Russia/Ukraine dispute over natural gas is still ongoing as the week begins, although there are signs that it could be resolved.
- Wave of Bankruptcy Filings Expected From Retailers in Wake of Holidays. Bankruptcies among retailers are expected to be on the rise after holiday spending by consumers didn't match expectations and on tightening of credit available to retailers.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Economy Made Few Gains in Bush Years Eight-Year Period Is Weakest in Decades Based on a review of several economic indicators such as job growth, GDP and others, the paper concludes that President Bush has presided over one of the weakest periods for the U.S. going back decades.
- Obama Lobbies for 2nd Half of Bailout Top Aide Heads to Hill to Press Senators The push is now on to get the second installment of the $700 billion bailout package doled out, with signals the next batch of money would be more targeted to businesses and homeowners.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Spotlight on soybeans It's a Q&A session with Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from North Dakota that has been voted in as a member of and executive committee of the United Soybean Board.
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "ABC has a new reality show about how our government protects our borders, waterways, and airports. Have you seen this? It's called 'Homeland Security USA,' or, as they call it in Afghanistan, 'the Terrorist Learning Channel.'"
Jay Leno: "Well, that's the name of the show: 'Homeland Security USA.' I think that's better than the original title," which "was 'Hey, Not So Fast, Ahmed.'"