Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 257.19, or 3.1 percent, to 7,994.05.
- The dollar was at 89.40 yen from 89.92 late Thursday in New York.
Thursday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 226.44, or 2.70 percent, to 8,149.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 50.50, or 3.24 percent, to 1,507.84.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.87 percent from 2.67 percent late Wednesday.
- The dollar was at 89.89 yen from 90.30 yen, while the euro was at $1.2964, compared with $1.3138 late Wednesday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures saw a fairly quiet trading session, finishing mid-range and closing mostly around 2 cents lower for the day.
- Soybeans: Futures closed about where they began, finishing mostly 11 to 12 cents lower.
- Wheat: Chicago wheat closed mostly 16 to 17 cents lower, with Kansas City wheat down 17 to 19 cents and Minneapolis down 11 to 15 cents.
- Cotton: Futures saw spillover pressure from Wednesday's losses, finishing slightly weaker.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures opened weaker but quickly turned mixed amid short-covering. Futures closed 10 to 30 cents higher in all but the April contract, which closed a dime lower.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed steady to 32 cents lower, with feeders narrowly mixed.
||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. Eyes Two-Part Bailout for Banks The two-pronged approach now being talked about would focus on buying a portion of banks' bad assets and offering guarantees against future losses on some of the remainder
- Senate Begins Its Horse-Trading Over Stimulus Bill. As the Senate is poised to act on their version of an economic stimulus package, the focus is on the special projects and provisions that lawmakers want to tack on to the legislation.
'Cash for Clunkers' Plan Is Considered
Stimulus Funding for Highways Runs Into Potholes
Telecoms Decry Web Funding
Protectionism as Stimulus We need to trade more, not less. Review & Outlook item.
'Think Long' to Solve the Crisis Commentary item by George Schultz, Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan.
- Illinois Ousts Governor Blagojevich Still Faces a Federal Case; 'Painful and Lonely' The Illinois Senate voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the first time in the state's history that has happened and the first governor to be removed from office since 1988 when Arizona ousted Evan Mecham. The federal government now has until April 7 to bring an indictment against him.
- Obama Will Get the Win, but How Game Plays Out Is Key One of candidate Obama's pledges was to move past partisanship, but the stimulus package could present a major test of that pledge, especially in the wake of no Republicans supporting the initial House version of the stimulus package.
- IMF Considers Issuing Bonds to Raise Money . The International Monetary Fund is mulling the move as it wants to increase its lending ability to around $500 billion from the current $250 billion. But there has been resistance in the past to the IMF issuing bonds.
- Wen Defends China's Currency Policy Against U.S. 'Manipulation' Comment. China's leader continues to pushback against comments made by Treasury Sec. Geithner on the issue of whether China manipulates their currency.
- Whole Foods Action Halted. The Federal Trade Commission says it has temporarily halted its antitrust challenge to Whole Foods's acquisition of Wild Oats to allow for settlement talks.
- 'Naked' Swaps Targeted. The item looks at legislation offered this week by House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) which would ban so-called naked credit-default swaps.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Ethanol towns also on idle The item looks at some of the shelved ethanol projects in the state and notes towns are making alternative plans since the projects don't seem likely to be revived.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Jay Leno: "As you know, President Barack Obama gave his first sit-down interview as president to an Arab TV network. He's reaching out to the Arab world. In fact, he even made a cameo appearance on one of the biggest sitcoms in the Arab world, 'How I Met Your Mullah.'"
Jay Leno: "Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the Earth is in grave danger from global warming." But "is this the best time to try to convince people that global warming is real, in the middle of a blizzard?" He should come "back in August when the air conditioner is broken, come out with a panting dog, and then maybe...people will listen."
Jay Leno: "And the 'Wall Street Journal' reports that Bill Clinton made $4.7 million last year in speaking fees from foreign countries. And they say this will cause a conflict for Hillary as secretary of state, but Bill has vowed not to cause any problems for her. And believe me, when Bill Clinton makes a vow to Hillary, you can take that to the bank."
David Letterman: "And President Bush, after eight years, is also in retirement. How can you tell?"
David Letterman: "President Bush, of course, has a place just outside of Crawford, Texas -- Rancho Inepto."