Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was down 120.07, or 1.5 percent, at 7,873.98.
- The dollar was at at 89.37 yen, down from 89.95 late Friday.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 148.15, or 1.82 percent, to 8,000.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 31.42, or 2.08 percent, to 1,476.42. The Dow finished the week down 0.90 percent and finished January down 8.84 percent, its worst January in its 113-year history and fifth straight month of declines.
- The 10-year Treasury note yield fell to 2.85 percent from 2.87 percent late Thursday.
- The dollar was at 89.84 yen from 89.88, while the euro fell to $1.2805 from $1.2964.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures were choppy throughout Friday's session and finished with a mixed tone.
- Soybeans: Futures saw another choppy week of trade, benefiting from light short-covering as traders closed their books on the first month of the year.
- Wheat: Futures faced late-session selling to end the week near weekly lows.
- Cotton: Futures posted slight losses in an uneventful day of trade, but did end on session lows.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures posted strong gains for the day, but still ended lower for the week.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures benefit from short-covering as traders prepared for Friday afternoon's Cattle Inventory Report, but for the week ended weaker than last week's close.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- More States Considering Tax Breaks to Woo Jobs While states are hoping the federal stimulus package will help stimulate employment in their states, some are considering other actions such as establishing multimillion-dollar loan funds for entrepreneurs, phasing out the corporate income tax, and pledging financial backing to banks willing to extend lines of credit to small businesses.
How Bad? Jobs Data Offer a Clue
Don't Push Banks to Make Bad Loans Opinion item by Burt Ely, the principal in Ely & Co. Inc., is a financial institutions and monetary policy consultant.
- Stimulus Package Set to Grow in Senate As the Senate takes up the stimulus package this week, hopes are the plan can be kept under $1 trillion in terms of its overall cost. Republicans are seeking to shift focus of the plan from spending to tax cuts.
Treasury, Countering Critics, Bolsters Staffing for Work on TARP
- Financial Protectionism Is Latest Threat to Global Recovery The International Monetary Fund already predicts a 2.8% decline in trade in 2009 and now some are fretting that as countries focus more on their domestic situations, they will turn even more protectionist, setting the stage for dragging out the economic decline.
- Daschle Faces Questions on Trips On Top of Tax Issues, Senators Also Weigh Propriety of Travel with Charity Besides the issue of paying more than $140,000 in back taxes and penalties, Daschle now faces questions from lawmakers on trips taken and whether those fell into the category as charity work or should have been claimed as income by the former Senate majority leader.
Driving Mr. Daschle Review & Outlook item
GOP Senator Is Top Pick for Commerce
- Wheat's Lingering High Prices Felt in Bakeries, Grocery Aisles. The item looks at how bakers are faring in the current climate. The industry is still nervous over price prospects after the tumult of the last year.
New York Times (registration to site required)
||Monitoring the countryside
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
Conan O'Brien: "Gov. Blagojevich is being criticized because he recently compared his experience to that of Nelson Mandela.” That "may be a stretch, but at least he got the prison part right.”
Jay Leno: "And on ‘Good Morning America,'” Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich "said he considered offering the vacant Senate seat” to Oprah Winfrey, "but changed his mind when she wouldn't give him a car.”
Jay Leno: "Al Qaeda has unleashed a stream of verbal attacks against President Obama, calling him names and saying his policies will all end in failure. Well, who do these people think they are, Rush Limbaugh?”
Jay Leno: "President Barack Obama has given his first sit-down interview since” he took the oath of office. He "gave it to an Arabic television network, which seems kind of strange. I mean, if Barack Obama wanted to give interview to a network that's not seen in the United States, why not go with NBC?”