Treasury Plan Buoys Markets

March 23, 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 gained 272.77, or 3.3 percent, to 8,488.30.

  • The dollar was at 98.45 yen from 97.10 late Monday in New York.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 497.48, or 6.8 percent, to 7,775.86 -- its fifth biggest point gain in history. The close was its highest finish since Feb. 13, biggest point gain since Nov. 13 and biggest percentage gain since Oct. 28. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 98.50, or 6.8 percent, to 1,555.77.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.68 percent from 2.64 percent late Friday.

  • The dollar was at 97.05 yen from 95.90 yen while the euro was at $1.3649 from $1.3560 late Friday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures faded into the close to finish mostly 2 to 3 cents lower and on session lows.
  • Soybeans: Futures opened sharply higher, but trimmed gains to finish 2 to 4 cents higher.

  • Wheat: Futures opened slightly higher on help from outside markets and neighboring pits, but as profit-taking set into the grain markets, wheat turned mixed. Chicago wheat finished marginally lower.
  • Cotton: Futures rallied into the close to finish 95 to 115 points higher for the day.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures opened mixed, but around midday sharply extended losses. Futures closed $1.10 to $1.50 lower in all but the far-deferred contracts which closed slightly lower.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed 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)






March 23

Grain Inspections (A)
Chickens and Eggs (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Cotton Ginnings (N)
Poultry Slaughter (N)
Broiler Hatchery (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (E)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Oil Crops Yearbook Data tables(E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Peanut Stocks and Processing (N)
Price Reactions After USDA Livestock Reports (N)Quarterly Hogs and Pigs (N)
Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook
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)

  • Toxic-Asset Plan Sends Stocks Soaring Dow Jumps Nearly 500 Points on Unveiling of Public-Private Program to Buy Up to $1 Trillion in Soured Loans and Securities Some viewed the reaction as more of relief about details finally being announced than necessarily a ringing endorsement of the plan as there are still many details left to be determined. Some are also concerned about potential "strings" that will be attached for participation in the plan.
    Related item:
    The Geithner Asset Play
  • Drought Turns Water Into a Cash Crop . Some estimate that drought-related impacts in California could cost $1.5 billion and 53,000 jobs, primarily in the ag sector. The state has activated its Drought Water Bank program for the first time since 1994. Farmers can opt to sell irrigation water via the Water Bank.
  • Obama Dials Down Wall Street Criticism The White House is toning down its anti-Wall Street rhetoric as it seeks to enlist the help of those it has been criticizing as it seeks to find a way to repair the damaged U.S. financial system. Some firms are even looking into accessing private capital to pay back government funds in order to avoid the restrictions.
    Related items:
    One Way to Stop Bear Raids.
    Commentary item by George Soros.
    AIG Employees Will Return About $50 Million of Bonuses
    AIG's Bonus Unit Now in IRS's Sights

  • WTO Predicts Global Trade Will Slide 9% This Year. The WTO sees world trade declining at the steepest rate since World War II, with developed countries expected to see a 10% downturn and a 2% to 3% downturn for developing countries.
  • China Takes Aim at Dollar China is calling for a new reserve currency to be established to take the place of the U.S. dollar. The proposal was made by China's Central Bank governor. However there are considerable hurdles in trying to achieve such an action that make it highly unlikely it will come to fruition.
    Related item:
    Beijing Faces Big Barriers in Effort to Supplant Dollar

  • EPA Raises Heat on Emissions Debate. EPA has forwarded a finding that carbon dioxide is a danger to public health, a finding which if it is backed by the White House, could put additional pressure on Congress to put together a cap-and-trade system greenhouse gas emissions.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "We are very excited to have the President of the United States, Barack Obama here. A lot of people...were surprised that the President came to NBC. You'd think by this time he'd be tired of big companies on the brink of disaster with a bunch of overpaid executives."

Jay Leno: "You know, we were also going to have Vice President Joe Biden come out and say a few words, but, you know, it's only an hour show."

Jimmy Fallon: "Big night for the network tonight. Barack Obama became the first sitting president to ever appear on a late night show. He was on 'Leno' tonight. Of course, it doesn't count the time Thomas Jefferson was on 'Larry King.'"

Jimmy Fallon: "I heard this today, a new audiotape from Osama bin Laden was released." On the tape, "he says he doesn't care what anyone says, he's not giving back his bonus money."

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