Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average tumbled 533.53 points, or 6.4 percent, to 7,863.69.
- The dollar bought 93 yen.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 679.95, or 7.70 percent, to 8,149.09 -- its fourth-largest point drop ever. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 137.50, or 8.95 percent, to 1,398.07.
- The 10-year Treasury note price was up 1 22/32, to 108 26/32, causing the yield to fall to 2.73 percent, from 2.92 percent late Friday. The yield on the 30-year bond dropped to 3.24 percent after briefly hitting a record low of 3.18 percent.
- The dollar bought 93.21 yen from 95.56 yen, while the euro was at $1.2594 from $1.2701 late Friday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures gapped lower on the open and extended losses to finish near daily lows and 16 3/4 to 17 3/4 cents lower.
- Soybeans: Futures ended 35 to 37 cents lower in most contracts, which was in the lower end of today's range.
- Wheat: Futures ended 31 to 33 cents lower in Chicago, mostly around 27 cents lower in Kansas City and 21 to 23 cents lower in Minneapolis.
- Cotton: Futures favored a weaker tone through the day, finishing slightly lower on some short-covering.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed moderately to sharply lower, but finished well off session lows in most contracts.
- Live Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures gapped lower on the open and actively extended losses to finish sharply 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)
- Fed Signals More Action as Slump Drags On Recession Began a Year Ago, Making It Longest Since Early '80s, Panel Says; Bernanke Considers Rate Cuts, Bond Purchases Fed Chairman Bernanke wouldn't rule out rate cuts but also signaled the Fed could take the unusual step of purchasing Treasury notes and bonds. This came on the heels of the National Bureau of Economic Research announced the economy slipped into recession in late 2007. At 12 months and counting, the downturn is already longer than the last two recessions in 2001 and 1990-91, both of which lasted eight months. If the current cycle persists past April, it would be the longest recession since the Great Depression.
States Paint Grim Picture, Ask for Help
Governors Against State Bailouts Op-ed item by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford (R).
- Pilgrim's Pride Seeks Chapter 11 Protection. The poultry firm sought protection from creditors as it cited low poultry prices and heavy debt. The firm plans to operate normally at its 35 chicken-processing plants and 11 prepared-foods facilities as it reorganizes.
- Goldman Faces Loss of $2 Billion for Quarter The venerable firm is expected to report a loss of $2 billion or nearly $5 per share. The firm's woes stem from a host of developments. Some see it as another sign of a broader downturn which has gripped financial firms.
- New Strategy Drives Obama Picks President-elect Obama said that his picks for national security and foreign policy posts reflect shift that U.S. decisions in this area will be driven by different factors than the Bush administration as they will use the "power of our moral example."
- Outsiders Look to Sway Georgia Race With Ads, Manpower. Georgia voters today will head back to the polls in the race for Senate, with lots of involvement from outside the state in the race between Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and his challenger.
- Paulson Seeks to Broaden Access to China The item looks at what the U.S. is hoping to accomplish the final Strategic Economic Dialogue talks under Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson between the U.S. and China.
Yuan's Fall Watched Ahead of U.S.-China Summit
- What the Baucus Health-Care Reform Entails. Letter to the Editor by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). The senator insists his plan won't cause a massive growth in government and it seeks to keep insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Officials Vow to Act Amid Forecasts of Long Recession Both Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said they'd use more tools in their arsenal to try and turn the U.S. economy around as it was declared to be in a recession for a year. Paulson said he would look at more ways to use the $700 billion rescue plan and Bernanke also outlined potential actions by the Fed.
- Major Poultry Producer Files for Bankruptcy Protection. The firm sought Chapter 11 protection in the Federal District Court in North Texas as it tries to negotiate with its creditors. It also said it had arranged $450 million in debtor-in-possession financing through the Bank of Montreal, which will allow it to continue operating.
- Brazil Leader Offers Plans for Recovery From Rains The country's president unveiled a plan to help rebuild homes and businesses damaged by heavy rains in the state of Santa Catarina and the plan may include special loans for farmers hit hard by the floods.
- Presidential Race Is Still Alive in Georgia Runoff. The item looks at today's run-off race for Georgia's senate seat currently held by Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Ag Committee.
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Harkin demands Postville explanation The Senate Ag Committee Chairman wants the administration to explain why it appears Agriprocessors was able to continue operating even though it wasn't paying farmers for livestock. USDA disputes Harkin's contention the firm was allowed to operate without the necessary bond to pay for livestock.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Hey, you know today is the busiest shopping day of the year. How about that, huh? And good news for the economy: So far, four shoppers have shown up."
David Letterman: "Let me give you an idea how desperate the economy is here in New York City." It is "so desperate, the crack dealers...are now offering free nachos."
David Letterman: "Hey, how about that Thanksgiving Day Parade. ... And of course, the culmination is the arrival of Santa and his elves." And "tomorrow, as a matter of fact, they're going down to Washington to try to get some of that bailout money."
Craig Ferguson: "Do you know who doesn't do well the day after Thanksgiving? Restaurants, because everyone's got food at home, everyone's got leftovers. ... The word leftovers comes from the Russian word leftov, which means warmed-over food. It doesn't really. I made that up. But I do that all the time. I'm like Wikipedia" or "Fox News."