Stimulus Plan Grows in Senate; Vilsack Pledges Focus on Eaters

February 4, 2009 06:00 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 fell 89.29 points or 1.1 percent to close at 7949.65.

  • The dollar traded at 89.68 yen, up from 89.45 yen.

Wednesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 121.70, or 1.51 percent, to 7,956.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.25, or 0.08 percent, to 1,515.05.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.92 percent from 2.88 percent late Tuesday.

  • The dollar was at 89.41 yen from 89.22 yen, was at $1.2852, down from $1.3040 late Tuesday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures posted a low-range close, finishing 3 to 4 cents lower.
  • Soybeans: Futures closed with a mixed tone.

  • Wheat: Futures closed mostly 7 to 10 cents lower in Chicago, 5 to 7 cents lower in Kansas City and mostly 5 to 8 cents lower in Minneapolis.
  • Cotton: Futures closed slightly higher, finding support from strength in the crude oil and gold markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed moderately to sharply lower in all but the February contract, which finished with a slight loss.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade, with live cattle closing steady to 35 cents lower and feeders closing 27 cents lower to 35 cents 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)






Feb. 2

Grain Inspections (A)
Poultry Slaughter (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
2007 Census of Agriculture (N)
Dairy Products (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Peanut Prices (N)

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)

  • GOP Wields More Influence Over the Stimulus Bill Maine Sen. Collins Leads Group of Moderates Seeking to Trim Package to $700 Billion or Less; Obama Calls for Quick Action Senate action on the stimulus package has pushed their version's price tag to around $920 billion, although some are working on an effort to trim spending from the bill to take the size of the package down to around $700 billion. Meanwhile, an amendment was approved that could dampen the potential negative impacts of the "buy American" clause in the bill.
    Related items:
    Sen. Reid Keeps His Eye Out for Nevada
    Some Breaks for Business Raise Concerns
    What Is Congress Stimulating?
    Congress Wants a Trade War. By Burton Malkiel, professor of economics at Princeton University
  • Auto-Parts Makers Seek Bailout Trade Group Asks Treasury for $25.5 Billion as Lawmakers Discuss Detroit Autoparts makers submitted a request to the Treasury Dept. this week, saying that that "without immediate assistance to suppliers, the country will face massive job losses and the eventual breakdown of the entire automotive sector."
    Related items:
    Mortgage Banks Push for Federal Support
    More Call for Probe on Financial Crisis
    In Merrill Deal, U.S. Played Hardball
    China's Auto Industry to Consolidate

  • Obama Lays Out Limits on Executive Pay President Obama laid out his plan to limit executive compensation for those heading firms that receive money from the government. Some say the effort is even prompting discussions inside boardrooms toward limiting pay at companies untouched by the bailout.
    Related items:
    Among Bankers, Howls -- and Cheers
    Goldman, Others Getting Aid Are Eager to Pay It All Back
    Mixed Reactions From Republicans Demonstrate the Dilemma Faced by the Party

  • Kraft, Sara Lee Reduce Forecasts as Consumers Trade Down. The firms lowered their earnings guidance given the current economic situation. While food products the firms produce are likely enjoying some boost from consumers cutting back on eating out, they are probably losing some ground to store brands as consumers seek to pare down even grocery bills.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Today, Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for secretary of health and human services after being forced to pay $128,000 in back taxes." Daschle "was extremely upset because now it looks like he paid his taxes for nothin'!"

Jay Leno: "And tax problems for another Obama nominee. Nancy Killefer has withdrawn her nomination as White House chief performance officer. Not only did she not pay her taxes, she had a tax lien put on her house by the government. Where is Obama getting these nominees? Old episodes of 'Cops'?"

David Letterman: "Tom Daschle has withdrawn his cabinet nomination because he had some tax problems. Forgot about $150,000. ... Remember the old days," when "politicians got in trouble for having sex with pages." Those days seem "pretty sweet now, don't they?"

Conan O'Brien: "Earlier today," Tom Daschle "withdrew his nomination to be the health and human services secretary after it was revealed he didn't pay back taxes. Yeah. So, President Obama says now it's down to his second and third choices, Willie Nelson and Wesley Snipes."

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