Signs of Economic Life?

May 10, 2009 07:00 PM

Snapshot of news and events for today

Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 19.15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 9,451.98.

  • The dollar was at 97.85 yen from 98.38 yen.

Friday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 164.80 points, or 2 percent, to 8,574.65 -- up 4.4 percent for the week and now down 2.3 percent for the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose rose 22.76, or 1.3 percent, to 1,739.00 -- up 1.2 percent for the week. 
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield was up to 3.29% from 3.27% late Thursday.

  • The dollar was at was at 98.46 yen, down from 99.04 yen, while the euro was at $1.3628, up from $1.3383 late Thursday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures ended the week on a strong note, with July corn closing above the $4.20 level for the first time since early January. For the week, corn finished "just" 7 cents above last week's close.
  • Soybeans: Futures finished with solid gains. For the week, old-crop contracts led price gains amid strong export demand and tightening supplies.

  • Wheat: Chicago and Kansas City wheat posted gains in the teens to 20-cent range. Minneapolis wheat also posted double-digit gains, but gains weren't as strong as the winter wheat markets.
  • Cotton: Futures closed on a strong note for the week, with July cotton testing the 60.00-cent level -- about 270 points above last Friday's close.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures were sharply higher Friday. Strong late-week gains allowed hog futures to close higher for the week.
  • Live Cattle: June live cattle finished about 50 cents above last week's close, inching closer to the cash cattle market.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






May 11

Grain Inspections (A)
Dairy Products (N)
Crop Progress (N)


World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (W)
Cotton Ginnings - Ann. (N)
Crop Production (N)
Cotton: World Markets and Trade (F)
Grains: World Markets and Trade (F)
Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (F)
World Agricultural Production
Weather - Crop Summary (N)
Season-Average Price Forecasts (E)
Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data (E)


Livestock and Meat Trade Data (E)
Broiler Hatchery (N)

Oil Crops Outlook (E)
Aquaculture Data (N)
U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update (E)
Cotton and Wool Outlook (E)
Rice Outlook


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Wheat Outlook (E)
Feed Outlook (E)
Vegetable and Melons Yearbook Data tables (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Meat Price Spreads (E)
Hatchery Production - Ann. (N)
Potato Stocks (N)
Turkey Hatchery (N)
Peanut Prices

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • World Regains Taste for Risk Stocks, Currencies in Emerging Markets Soar; China's Stimulus Spending Kicks In Investors have gone back into emerging markets as they are now focusing on an economic recovery and not the recession. Some wonder if the action to pile money into these markets may be overdone already. Data shows that investors during the week ended May put some $4 billion into emerging-market investment funds -- the biggest week for the funds since late 2007.
  • Mild Inflation Readings Shouldn't Portend Danger . The item previews the producer price and consumer price index reports that are both out this week relative to the level of inflation they are expected to show.
  • Pig Boom Raises Health Issues. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says there are more than 1 billion pigs in the world now, up from 750 million just 30 years ago. Often times they live close to humans which raises the prospect of disease transference. However, scientists still say there is no link between the H1N1 virus and hogs.
  • U.S. Forced Chrysler's Creditors to Blink The item looks at efforts by the Obama administration to push those resisting bankruptcy for Chrysler to give up their fight. Some say with banks in a weakened position, it made the administration's job "easier."
    Related item:
    Hedge Funds Are Piqued by White House

  • Long-Term Challenges Test China's Growth China's next challenge is putting in place the structures that will deliver long-term growth in the country once the positive impacts of economic stimulus spending run out. That includes finding some type of alternative to provide a growth catalyst other than exports.

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • Administration Plans to Strengthen Antitrust Rules The Justice Department's top anti-trust official today is expected to announce the administration is reversing a Bush administration stance on anti-trust actions and will say that the recession is no reason to avoid pursuing such actions. The reversal is seen as a reversion to a stance that saw antitrust actions brought against Microsoft and Intel.
  • Outbreaks and Recalls Put Worry on the Table The item looks at whether our food supply is still safe as there appears to be more cases of foodborne illness and contamination popping up. Some wonder if that's because better records are being kept and there is a greater ability to find pathogens in food.
  • China Outpaces U.S. in Cleaner Coal-Fired Plants China is now one of the leaders in building clean coal plants, building them at a rate of one per month while the U.S. is still in the contemplation stage relative to the technology.

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

  • Add more ethanol to gasoline blends By North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring. The writer lists reasons why he backs an increase in the ethanol blend percentage in the nation's motor fuel supply, including increased economic activity in the nation and in North Dakota.

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

  • Hog farmers respond to flu fears Producers are keeping tighter control over those who gain access to hog operations in the wake of the H1N1 flu virus situation as one of the steps taken as the industry battles negative impacts.

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

  • Obama dragging heels on trade, Johanns says Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) says he can't understand why the Obama administration hasn't sought Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) relative to its ability to negotiate trade deals.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

  • Healthful shift ahead for food at U.S. schools Des Moines schools are shifting their offerings to students in an effort to make more healthful foods available to them and to eliminate items that are not that healthy. The article notes this could be the direction that will take place on a national level via the reauthorization of child nutrition programs in Congress.

Denver Post (Colorado)

  • Fast-food customers lean on value meals Fast food companies are trying to strike a delicate balance -- entice customers with lower-cost menu items but not so low as to sacrifice their business.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: The "White House says as of now, it is not contained. It could continue to get worse. And they were just talking about Joe Biden."

Jay Leno: "Well, there are now cases of swine flu in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. So, see that? NAFTA does work."

Jay Leno: "A vacancy on the Supreme Court. This is something we haven't seen in awhile. Let's just hope the President is better at picking a justice than the justices were at picking a president."

Jay Leno: "As you may have heard, the White House has a brand-new puppy. I believe his name is Arlen Specter."

Jay Leno: Sen. Arlen Specter "has switched to the Democratic Party. Today, Obama told Republicans, 'Look, we'll give you Biden, call it even.'"

Jimmy Kimmel: "Right now I'm an hour away from a long, luxurious weekend of washing my hands every five minutes and loading my shotguns to fight off any swine flu zombies that might wander into my yard."

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