Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 150.1 points, or 1.9 percent, to 8,051.74.
- The dollar was at 89.10 yen, down from 89.13 yen.
Wednesday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 279.01, or 3.51 percent, to 8,228.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 66.21, or 4.60 percent, to 1,507.07.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.53 percent from 2.37 percent late Tuesday.
- The dollar moved to 89.44 yen from 89.77 yen, while the euro was at $1.3018, compared with $1.2882 late Tuesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures opened weaker and favored losses most of the day, but saw late-session buying to finish mostly 5 to 6 cents higher, which was a near-session-high close.
- Soybeans: Futures closed mostly between 24 and 28 cents higher, which was near session highs.
- Wheat: Futures opened slightly higher on ideas Tuesday's losses were overdone and extended gains into the close.
- Cotton: Futures favored gains through the day, with support coming on spillover from the recovery in the stock market following Tuesday's sharp decline.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw choppy trade, but favored the downside most of the day, finishing 15 to 40 cents lower to finish near the middle of the day's trading range.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade, finishing mixed. Feeder futures favored a weaker tone in mixed trade.
||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 Freezes Top Staff Pay First Full Day: Guantanamo Curbs, Lobbying Limits and Middle East Diplomacy The item chronicles the first full day on the job as President for Barack Obama, including issuing of orders on lobbying restrictions and a freeze on pay for White House staff that earn more than $100,000 per year.
Geithner Apologizes, Calls for 'Dramatic' Action
Obama Set to Undo Bush's Gitmo Policies
Caroline Kennedy Drops Bid for Open Senate Seat
Inaugural Festivities Draw Near-Record Numbers
Relations With China Could Test Obama
- Political Interference Seen in Bank Bailout Decisions Barney Frank Goes to Bat for Lender, and It Gets an Infusion Lawmaker intervention is seen having a role in how some banks have managed to get aid money from the government via the $700 billion rescue package.
- Japan's Exports Declined by a Record 35% Last Month. Japan posted a trade deficit of 320 billion yen ($3.56 billion) in December, wider than a 225-billion yen deficit in November and it was the third straight month the country posted a trade deficit. For all of 2008, Japan's trade surplus shrank 80% to 2.16 trillion yen, as exports fell 3.4% and imports grew 7.9%, the ministry said.
- China Fourth-Quarter GDP Confirms a Major Slowdown. The 6.8% GDP figure for the fourth quarter of 2008 means full-year growth for 2008 was 9.0%, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, marking the first time since 2002 that China's economy has expanded by less than 10% annually.
Retailers Still Expanding in China
- Apple Bests Downturn, But Faces SEC Probe The SEC is looking into how the company revealed Steven Jobs' health issues.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Farmers say Minnesota law change may backfire Green Acres law gives farmers lower tax rate for cropland Farmers testified that a 2008 law change could prompt farmers to tear up some land that shouldn't be farmed to keep the tax bill on those acres lower.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama now the 44th President of the United States. Fascinating. As you know, we've never had an African-American president. We've had a Dutch-American president. We've had an Irish-American president. We've even had an incompetent American president. But we've never...had an African-American president."
Jay Leno: "Well, did you all see Obama's speech? He said America is finally ready to lead again," to "which Bush said, 'Hey, I'm sitting here! Hello! I'm still here!'"
Conan O'Brien: "All the living ex-presidents attended the swearing-in ceremony. But did you see this? Bill Clinton got the biggest response from the crowd. Did you see that? Yeah. Yeah, apparently, thousands of women yelled, 'That's him, officer!'" fresh