Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 288.27, or 3.8 percent, to 7,280.15.
- The dollar was at 97.23 yen from 97.57 yen.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 119.15, or 1.7 percent, to close Friday at 7,062.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 13.63, or 1 percent, to 1,377.84. The Dow lost 11.7 percent in February was its worst since 1933, when it fell 15.6 percent, and its sixth straight monthly drop.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 3.02 percent from 3 percent late Thursday.
- The dollar was at 97.60 from 98.35 while the euro was at $1.2676 from $1.2739 Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures extended losses into the close to finish with double-digit declines.
- Soybeans: Futures moved to a new-for-the-month low before firming and closing slightly higher for the day.
- Wheat: Futures saw a choppy week of trade, with Chicago and Kansas City finishing slightly below last week's levels in most contracts, while Minneapolis contracts posted slight overall gains.
- Cotton: Futures finished under pressure Friday and were modestly lower for the week.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted a sharp corrective rally Friday, with April hogs challenging downtrending resistance.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed steady to higher in all but the February contract, which expired 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)
- U.S. Revamps Bailout of AIG Taxpayers Exposed to Greater Risk in New Plan; $30 Billion More From TARP Funds The U.S. will give AIG access to up to $30 billion in new TARP funds, but will cut the insurer's $60 billion credit line with the Federal Reserve to between $20 billion and $25 billion. The latest effort reflects a view within the government that the cost of letting AIG fail would be more substantial than just to provide it additional TARP funds.
- EU Rejects a Rescue of Faltering East Europe Amid warnings that a failure to help East European countries could see a "new iron curtain" raised, EU officials are so far rejecting requests for a bailout. Some see the IMF and other international agencies now taking a wider role in the region.
China Targets Economic Stimulus Increased Spending on Social Services Would Bolster Consumers Hurt by Downturn
- Stocks Will Indicate When Tide Is Turning. During nearly all 11 economic downturns since World War II, the Dow industrials have hit their recession low and begun climbing in the six months before the economy began to recover.
- Republicans Concede Budget Is Hard to Block. Despite being critical of the budget proposed by President Obama, Republicans admit it will be all but impossible to block it in the House and even difficult in the Senate.
Health-Care Effort Ascends Agenda
Regulators See Big Funding Boost
Defense Firms Look to Fill Gaps as U.S. Policy Shifts
Charities Say Tax Changes Add to Pain
- Beijing Tightens Food-Safety Laws New Measures Call for Tougher Penalties and More Oversight The new plan aims to streamline regulation, in part by creating a national food-safety commission to coordinate work by other government agencies, and by reducing the number of agencies involved.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jimmy Kimmel: "George W. Bush is doing pretty well for a retiree. Our former president will hit the lecture circuit next month for a reported $150,000 per speech," which "seems like a lot to pay to hear someone who can't speak give a speech."
Jimmy Kimmel: "Actually, it's a $150,000 for" Bush's "speech and an extra 25 grand if you want to throw shoes at him."