Price Decline Doesn't Remove Oil From Headlines

August 4, 2008 07:00 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 closed down 0.1 percent, or 18.52 points, to 12,914.66.

  • The dollar fell to 107.78 from ¥108.22 late Monday.  

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 42.17 points, or 0.4 percent, at 11,284.15 -- down nearly 300 points the past three days and down 15 percent on the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.1 percent, or 25.40 points, to 2,285.56 -- off 14 percent for the year.
  • The 10-year Treasury note shed 6.32 point, or $1.875 for every $1,000 invested, to push up the yield to 3.972 percent.

  • The dollar traded at 108.26 yen from 107.75 yen while the euro rose to $1.5584 from $1.5541 Friday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures settled sharply lower to limit down.
  • Soybeans: Futures gapped below the July lows on the open and sharply extended losses to finish the 70-cent limit lower.

  • Wheat: Chicago wheat closed 32 1/4 to 35 1/2 cents lower, with Kansas City down 26 to 29 cents and Minneapolis 27 to 32 cents lower.
  • Cotton: Futures ended sharply lower amid a widespread selloff in the commodity world .
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures finished mixed amid spreading, with nearby contracts slightly higher.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures ended lower in all but the August contract.

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)






Aug. 4

Grain Inspections (A)
Land Values and Cash Rents (N)
Crop Progress (N)


Poultry Slaughter (N)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Farm Production Expenditures (N)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Peanut Prices (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)

  • Price Increases Ramp Up, Sounding Inflation Alarm Stimulus Checks Fuel Consumer Spending; Incomes Fall Behind While spending rose 0.6% last month, the 0.8% rise in consumer prices was even quicker, setting off concerns that inflation could become a factor.
  • Edouard Hits Gulf, But Markets Are Unfazed Most observers say the recent price declines have led to shift in market thinking, as if the storm would have arrived while crude was still around $145 per barrel, the storm may have had more market impact. But so far there are no reports of outages or shutdowns of oil equipment in the Gulf linked to the storm.
    Related item:
    Obama Backs Using Oil Reserve

  • Auto Makers Pull Back From Fuel-Economy Drive Industry Faults Pace of U.S. Effort Amid Harder Times Automakers previously welcomed the new mileage standards Congress approved, but now are backing away from that support amid tough financial times. They say they need more time to study and adopt fuel-saving technologies.
  • Bush Seeks Measures To Save Trade Deal With South Korea. President Bush is in South Korea, with part of his visit focused on trying to keep the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement alive.
  • McCain Vets Cantor as Running Mate. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is being mentioned as a potential running mate along with three others -- all being under the age of 50.
  • Asia's Policy Makers Clash Over Inflation Strategies Central Banks Seek To Check Prices And Aid Growth. Central banks in Asian countries are struggling with the task of trying to keep growth going while still keeping a lid on inflation with a major debate over how they can affect inflationary pressures if they are caused by forces outside their own countries.
  • You Can't Control Animal Spirits. Op-ed item by Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the SEC from 1993-2001. The writer argues that this focus on shifting regulation of markets doesn't make sense. He states: "The Fed's duty is to prevent bank failures and bank runs, to protect the banks. The SEC's duty is to investors, protecting investor's cash and securities, and working to prevent securities fraud."

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Bush Says It's 'Important to Engage' China A Mixed Appraisal on Eve of Visit President Bush said as he headed to China that it was important to keep an open dialogue with the country and he expressed a hope that any potential unrest relative to the Olympics would be handled by China properly and without the use of force.
  • Obama Urges Opening Up Oil Reserves Policy Shift Is His Second in a Week on Energy Issue; McCain Urges Immediate Drilling Sen. Obama's campaign offered no suggestion as to how much energy prices might decline if the SPR were tapped, but noted prices at the pump went down more than 19 percent within two weeks when President Bill Clinton made such a move in 2000.
  • Tomato Growers Seeing Red Fresh tomato growers are still irked at the FDA salmonella investigation which initially fingered their products as the source only to later have them cleared. The matter cost the industry around $100 million.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

David Letterman: Top Ten Ways John McCain Can Appear More Youthful. "10. Campaign in a batsuit. 9. Instead of Lincoln, pepper speech with quotes from Broday Jenner. 8. Get his Miracle Ear pierced. 7. Stop yelling at reporters to get off his lawn. 6. Play breakdancing vice principal in ‘High School Musical 3.' 5. Take a page from Jason Giambi and grow a cool moustache. 4. Wrestle a gator. 3. Change name of ‘Straight Talk Express' to ‘J-Dawg's Booty Wagon.' 2. Stop promising a Packard in every garage and a goose in every icebox. 1. Never hurts to nail a few interns.”

David Letterman: Over the "last ten days,” Barack Obama "was traveling overseas, campaigning in Europe and everywhere.” And this trip was "so successful” that Obama "is actually thinking about campaigning here in the United States.”

David Letterman: "But” there "was one little episode while Barack Obama was overseas. He was in Jerusalem, and he was heckled. And he's not used to being heckled, because everybody…likes the guy wherever he goes so nobody heckles him. And this woman was just furious and nasty and heckling him,” and "finally he said, ‘All right, Hillary, knock it off!'”

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