Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The Nikkei 225 Index tumbled 422.89 points, or 4.8 percent, to 8,413.91.
- In Asian trading, the dollar traded at 88.87 yen Tuesday from 89.44 yen.
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125.21, or 1.46 percent, to 8,473.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 32.80, or 2.09 percent, to 1,538.79.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 2.31 percent from 2.40 percent late Friday.
- The dollar was at 89.09 yen from 90.24 yen, while the euro was at $1.3378 from $1.3431 Friday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures posted limit losses (30 cents lower) in all but extreme far-deferred contracts.
- Soybeans: Futures closed sharply lower to down the full 70 cent daily limit today.
- Wheat: Futures closed near limit down at all three exchanges on heavy spillover from neighboring pits and the commodity world in general.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply lower and near session lows on heavy pressure from a broad-based commodity selloff.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed moderately to sharply lower, which was in the lower end of the day's range for most contracts.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed with slight losses following a choppy day of trade.
||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. Seeks Rest of Bailout Cash Call to Deploy Remaining $350 Billion Comes as Citi, Rivals Face Steep Losses The Bush administration made the request to Congress on behalf of the incoming Obama administration, but it remains to be seen how much opposition may surface to the request. Some Republican lawmakers are expected to oppose the effort and the key will be how many Democrats sign on.
- Salmonella in Peanut Butter Linked to Other U.S. Cases Minnesota officials say the strain of salmonella they have found in peanut butter matches that found an outbreak in 42 other states.
- Senate Will Seat Burris, Ending a Messy Standoff After Adamantly Refusing for Weeks, Democratic Leaders Strike Deal With Gov. Blagojevich's Pick to Succeed Obama The secretary of the Senate accepted Mr. Burris' credentials 14 days after his appointment by the embattled Illinois governor.
- Obama Team Is Reconsidering Proposed Tax Credit for Hiring The plan for a $3,000 tax credit for businesses who hire workers is likely to be scaled back or cut from Obama's economic plan due to opposition and questions about its effectiveness.
- Russia Will Restart Gas Exports to EU. While the flow has been restarted, further stoppages are possible, EU and Russian officials said, because disputes remain over which side -- Moscow or Kiev -- should provide the gas volumes needed to pump Russia's exports to the EU, as well as over what price Ukraine should pay for its own gas imports from Russia.
- Estates of Pain The first tax increase of the Obama era. Review & Outlook item. The paper criticizes the expected move to no longer let the estate tax disappear in 2010 and it outlines reasons why it should be scrapped altogether.
- Alternative-Energy Companies Grow Even as Others Falter Inquiries, Sales and Funding Rise in Anticipation of New Regulations -- and Spending -- From Obama Administration More attention is being focused on alternative energy companies as most expect either more conservation requirements from the new administration and/or more funding for this area.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
- Kansas farmers plant less wheat USDA's Winter Wheat Seedings Report said the state planted the fewest acres to winter wheat since 1957 at only 9 million acres.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Climate, energy on Vilsack agenda at confirmation The paper says Vilsack's opening statement for his confirmation hearing is relatively short and doesn't contain many specifics. They report Vilsack says he expects USDA will "create real and meaningful opportunities" for farmers and to guarantee that rural communities grow and prosper.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Couple of days ago" in "New Jersey," there were "UFO sightings. ... Believe me, it's not an invasion." The aliens are "actually here" because they "want some of that Federal bailout money."
David Letterman: "Do you have your tickets for the inauguration down in Washington. I sent in early. I sent the money in. I got my tickets back, lousy seats." You "know where they put me? ... I'm right between Govs. Spitzer and Blagojevich."
David Letterman: "Vice President-elect Joe Biden...is already getting acquainted with his new responsibility as Vice President. And he's starting every afternoon at 3:00. He picks up Sasha and Malia from school."
Conan O'Brien: "On Inauguration Day, Barack Obama will be riding in a brand new presidential limousine" made by General Motors. ... Yeah, the parade route is five miles long, so GM says Obama should only have to stop for gas twice."