Obama Wraps Up Cabinet Picks

December 18, 2008 06:00 PM
Snapshot of news and events for today


Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 78.71 points, or 0.9 percent, to 8,588.52.

  • The dollar was down 0.7 percent at 88.76 yen.

Thursday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.35, or 2.49 percent, to 8,604.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 26.94, or 1.71 percent, to 1,552.37.
  • The 10-year Treasury note rose 1 3/32 points, or $10.9375 for every $1,000 invested, at 114 29/32, to yield 2.078 percent -- the lowest yield since at least Nov. 1, 1977. The 30-year bond rose three points, or $30 for every $1,000 invested, at 140 8/32, to yield 2.547 percent, from 2.665 percent Wednesday.

  • The dollar was at 89.28 yen from 87.40 yen, while the euro was at $1.4239 from $1.4390 Wednesday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures were under light pressure most of the day, but saw a late-session rally to post a high-range close.
  • Soybeans: Futures opened weaker, but firmed to close 5 1/2 to 6 cents higher and near session highs.

  • Wheat: Futures extended gains into the close to post double-digit gains.
  • Cotton: Futures closed slightly lower, pressured by outside markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed slightly higher in all but the February contract -- again -- which closed 15 cents lower.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 70 cents to $1.75 lower, with nearbys leading losses amid profit-taking.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






Dec. 15

Grain Inspections (A)
Feed Outlook (E)

Wheat Outlook(E)
Apple Juice: World Markets and Trade (F)
Apples: World Markets and Trade (F)
Pears: World Markets and Trade (F)
Potatoes and Products: World Markets and Trade (F)
Table Grapes: World Markets and Trade (F)
Potato Stocks


Weather - Crop Summary (N)
Meat Price Spreads (E)
Vegetables and Melons Outlook (E)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (E)
Milk Production (N)
National Hop Report (N)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Cattle on Feed (N)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Stimulus Package Heads Toward $850 Billion The Obama team is putting together a stimulus plan of $675 yo $775 billion over two years and the price tag could rise even further before the plan is submitted to Congress.
  • Oil's Crash Stirs Unrest in Russia as Slump Hits Home Declining oil revenues are having an impact on Russia, with unrest a major concern along with a need to cut spending and still provide help to struggling industries. But some say the government options are dwindling in terms of what it can do to address the situation.
  • Obama Team Takes Two Shapes The Obama cabinet has two distinct groups -- names that most know and another group of "new" folks in the world of politics.
  • Obama's Picks Show Split on Trade Choices for Representative, Labor Secretary Appeal to Different Wings of Party Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk is the U.S. Trade Rep. choice and is seen as a supporter of trade while his pick for Labor Secretary in Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) is seen as an opponent of free trade.
  • White House Says Help for Auto Makers Is Near  The White House could release its plans for aiding the U.S. auto industry as soon as today.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

  • Twelve months of rural slump. Sales of farmland and agricultural equipment hit record lows this month, according to a survey of Midwestern bankers. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said declining farmland prices is a negative sign.
  • Hagel gives wrap-up to supporters The item looks at remarks from retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and offered no ideas on his next move.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

David Letterman: "Everybody looks forward to 'Time' magazine naming their 'person of the year.' And today, they named Barack Obama person of the year. ... That's right. Finally, things are starting to go his way."

Conan O'Brien: "Speaking of the President, in a recent interview, President Bush said that he has a collection of over 250 autographed baseballs. Yeah. Unfortunately, the question the interviewer asked was: Do you have an exit strategy for Iraq?"

Conan O'Brien: "The Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear a motion to throw" Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich "out of office. Yeah. Afterwards, Blagojevich thanked the Supreme Court and said, 'Your check is in the mail.'"

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