Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 235.27 points, or 2.78 percent, at 8,693.82.
- The dollar bought 100.65 yen from 101.30 yen late Thursday.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 401.35 points higher, up 4.7 percent, at 8979.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 89.38, or 5.49 percent, to 1,717.71 -- its biggest percentage gain this year.
- The 2-year Treasury note slipped 4/32, nudging its yield up to 1.620 percent. The benchmark 10-year note fell 2/32 to yield 3.955 percent.
- The dollar bought 101.41 yen from 100.28, while the euro was at $1.3469 from $1.3492 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures favored a weaker tone through the day, finishing mid-range.
- Soybeans: Futures opened lower and extended losses before seeing short-covering support lift the market into the close.
- Wheat: Futures trimmed losses into the close, but favored a weaker tone through the day.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply higher, with buy stops triggered amid short-covering support.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures sharply lower on the open and extended losses. Futures closed off session lows, but still posted sharp losses of $1.55 to $2.10.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed mixed, with October up 22 cents, December steady, with the rest of the pit 2 to 42 cents lower.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Debt Woes, Feed Costs Come Home to Roost at Pilgrim. The firm had a loss in its third quarter and is expected to post "a significant loss" in its fourth quarter. The company has been hit by a poultry oversupply and high corn prices along with making corn purchases near the highs this summer. Now the firm is scrambling to avoid bankruptcy and is mulling what steps to take to address its massive debt load.
- Oil's Slide Deepens as Downturn Triggers Sharp Drop in Demand Oil futures dropped below $70 for the first time in 14 months in New York as indications grew that the U.S. economic downturn was indeed cutting oil demand; data shows a 9% decline year over year. "If the price stabilizes at around $80 a barrel, as many now expect, "that will amount to essentially a $275 billion stimulus package to the U.S. economy," says Lawrence Goldstein, an analyst with the Energy Policy Research Foundation.
- Slowing Inflation Opens the Door For Fed to Cut Interest Rates Further Consumer price data signaled inflation concerns are diminished which is leading most observers to believe the Fed has room to cut interest rates as it seeks ways to address the struggling U.S. economy. Part of the view on inflation is due to falling commodity prices.
Fed Rethinks Stance on Popping Bubbles
EU Heads, Bush to Meet on Financial Proposals
Iceland's Leaders, Warned of Risks, Now Face Criticism Amid Bank Disaster
Treasury Has No Authority to Coerce the Banks Opinion item by William Poole, former head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- A Liberal Supermajority Get ready for 'change' we haven't seen since 1965, or 1933. Review & Outlook item. The paper lays out issues where they expect significant changes in policy should Sen. Obama take the White House and the Senate be controlled by Democrats via a filibuster-proof majority. They warn that this could usher in the biggest shift to more governmental involvement than has been seen since the 1960s.
- Food Companies Sow Profit Growth. Even though commodity prices have eased, most don't see food companies retracting much of the price increases they've been able to pass on to consumers in recent months which will likely bolster their profit pictures in the months ahead.
- GM and Chrysler Step Up Talks Over a Combination. The two automakers are continuing to explore a deal which could see GM take over Chrysler, but so far things have not yet been settled, according to the report. But Cerebus, the owner of Chrysler, is also said to be looking at options other than combining the two automakers.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
Denver Post (Colorado)
- FDA to put inspectors in China by year's The AP report says the FDA has a plan to place more than 60 food and drug regulators worldwide over the next year. After opening its initial office in Beijing, the FDA expects to post eight U.S. staffers to China next year and open additional outposts in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "Got your costume picked out” for Halloween,” because "I got mine. I'm going to wear my pants with the pockets out and just go as the bank.”
Jay Leno: "Actually, the financial news is starting to look pretty good this week. Yesterday, the market was up almost 1,000 points. … In fact, the financial news is looking so good bankers are starting to be rude to customers again.”
Jay Leno: According to a group of Nobel prize-winning scientists, because of the economic crisis, the planet might actually improve from the damage of global warming because we're using less fossil fuel and we're saving energy. See, this shows the brilliance of President Bush's plan. He was killing the economy, yeah, but to save the planet! The man is a genius!”
Jay Leno: "Barack Obama…says that both men and women should have to register for the draft. … The first woman he wants signed up, Sarah Palin.”
Jay Leno: "And more charges of voter registration fraud with this group ACORN. … This is turning into a huge scandal. Apparently, this group has been charged with putting a lot of phony names on voter registration cards, including Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse was registered to vote in Florida. Is that so bad? I mean, Goofy's been president for the last eight years.”