Signs of Life in Economy?

April 6, 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 closed down 25.08 points, or 0.3 percent, to 8,832.85.

  • The dollar was at 100.54 yen from 100.64 yen.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 41.74, or 0.5 percent, to 7,975.85 -- down 9.1 percent this year.. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 15.16, or 0.9 percent, to 1,606.71 -- up 1.9 percent for the year.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.939 percent from 2.909 percent late Friday.

  • The dollar was at 101.07 yen from 100.27 yen, while the euro was at $1.3407 from $1.3488 late Friday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures settled 1 to 2 cents higher following a choppy day of trade.
  • Soybeans: Futures were firmer overnight, but faced profit-taking pressure on the open due to negative outside markets.

  • Wheat: Futures favored losses through the day, but saw periods of choppy trade.
  • Cotton: Futures posted slight losses and finished in the middle of the day;s trading range.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures favored a weaker tone through the day amid mixed trade, but saw selling intensify into the close to finish 32 cents to $1.20 lower, with the May contract posting the stiffest decline.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed mixed, although all but the far-deferred contracts finished slightly higher.

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)






April 6

Grain Inspections (A)
Wine: World Markets and Trade (N)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (W)
Crop Production (N)
Cotton: World Markets and Trade (F)
Grains: World Markets and Trade (F)
Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (F)
World Agricultural Production (F)
Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock and Poultry (PS) (F)
Peanut Prices (N)
Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data (E)
Season-Average Price Forecasts


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

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)

  • Central Banks Enhance Fed's Currency Lending The Fed, Bank of England, European Central Bank, Swiss National Bank and Bank of Japan announced that now the Fed will be able to lend pounds, euros, yen and Swiss francs to U.S. institutions with pressing short-term needs for loans in those currencies. The new swap lines allow the Fed to borrow as much as 80 billion euros, 10 trillion yen, 30 billion pounds sterling and 40 billion Swiss francs to provide to U.S. banks if needed.
  • Bailout Man Turns the Screws The item profiles James Lambright, the chief investment officer of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. How the item describes him: Tall, bald and blunt, Mr. Lambright has gained a reputation within the government for his tough negotiating style, which at times has irked those seeking aid and ruffled the feathers of some colleagues.
  • Japan Sets $100 Billion Stimulus Plan The plan surprised some by its size, with observers agreeing it reflects the fact that the Japanese government is committed to trying to pull their economy upright. It may also be a move with an eye on boosting the popularity of the current prime minister.
  • Fuel-Efficiency Technology Gives Fiat a Boost in Bargaining to Acquire Chrysler Stake . The company is one of the leaders in creating more fuel-efficieitn cars, something that could give it a leg up in the negotiations with Chrysler that have basically been "ordered" by the U.S. government.
    Related item:
    Ford Trims Debt 28%, Pressuring GM and Chrysler

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • Muted Signs of Life in the Credit Markets Observers note that it appears credit markets are indeed starting to function more, in part due to efforts by the government to foster such activity. Markets for bundled securities are also showing signs of life. But there is also a view that the signs of a freed up credit situation could be fleeting.
    Related item:
    Poll Finds New Optimism on Economy Since Inauguration

  • Economy Falling Years Behind Full Speed The article says a considerable chunk of the country's infrastructure has been "mothballed" as a result of the recession, and that will take time to be brought back on line when things pick up. The item points out the following: "Only once since the Great Depression has there been such a severe loss of output — in the 1981-82 recession — and after that downturn, it was seven years before the economy regained the lost production."

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "See, a lot of Americans don't understand the role of the Queen," who "is merely a figurehead. She wields no real political power," or, "as we call it in this country, the Vice President."

Jay Leno: "Well, you know what's interesting over the years" is "to watch the contrasting styles of US presidents when they meet royalty. For example," President Obama "always refers to the Queen as 'Her Majesty,' whereas President Bush used to call her 'The Queenster.'"

David Letterman: Top Ten Signs Your Kid Is In Al Qaeda: "10. His name: Mike Jenkins -- now goes by Mike bin Jenkins. 9. Runs inside for cover whenever a satellite flies overhead. 8. His chemistry tutor? Chemical Ali. 7. If he doesn't like what's for dinner, he throws a shoe at you. 6. On invitation to his birthday party, he wrote 'No Kurds.' 5. Hides in his room and communicates through randomly-released audiotaped messages. 4. Yearbook declares him 'Most likely to defeat the American jackals in the name of Allah.' 3. Asks to go to sleepaway camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. 2. Happiest day of his life: When Ayman Al Zawahiri showed up at his Bar Mitzvah. 1. Instead of Hannah Montana, he has a crush on Pooja Fallujah."

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