What Traders are Talking About:
* Scattered rain chances today. Rains developed in the far northwestern Corn Belt overnight. Scattered rains are forecast for the western Corn Belt today. Some of those showers may make it into the eastern Corn Belt, but many of the drier areas are expected to see very little (if any) precip. Temps will moderate slightly from recent heat in the western Corn Belt today and Thursday in the eastern Belt. But the overall pattern is expected to remain hot and dry over all but the northwestern Corn Belt.
The long and short of it: Aside from northwestern areas of the Corn Belt, crops remain stressed and little relief from the heat and dryness is expected from this system.
* Valero temporarily closes Nebraska ethanol plant. Tight corn supplies and reduced demand have caused ethanol margins to weaken. As a result, Valero announced Tuesday it has temporarily shut its Albion, Nebraska, ethanol plant. This is the second Nebraska ethanol plant to be shuttered, as Nedak Ethanol closed it's Atkinson plant last week. Valero says it plans to keep its 10 other ethanol plants open and expects to bring the Albion plant back online by harvest.
The long and short of it: Given tight old-crop corn supplies and poor margins, it wouldn't be surprising to see other ethanol plants temporarily shut down or take some extended downtime this summer.
* Financial markets focused on FOMC, Bernanke. Investors have an expectation that the Fed will announce an extension of its Operation Twist program, which would otherwise expire at the end of June, following its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting around 11:30 a.m. CT. And some economists are expecting the Fed to announce a third round of quantitative easing (QE3). Following the FOMC meeting, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will give the central bank's economic forecasts and field questions on the economy and monetary policy.
The long and short of it: Expectations for some type of economic stimulus is already built into markets. As a result, failure by the Fed or Bernanke to satisfy investors on that front would likely lead to a broad-based negative market reaction.
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