Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 269.57 points, or 3.4 percent, to 8,215.53.
- The dollar was at 96.12 yen from 95.95 yen late Friday.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 122.42 points Friday, or 1.7%, to 7278.38 -- up 0.8 percent for the week and it first back-to-back set of weekly gains since May 2008. The index is up 3.1 percent for March. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 26.21 points, or 1.77 percent, to 1,457.27 -- up 1.8 percent for the week.
- The 10-year Treasury note was down 8/32 point, or $2.50 per $1,000 face value, at 101 3/32. Its yield rose to 2.626 percent from 2.597 percent late Thursday.
- The dollar was at 95.92 yen from 94.52 yen, while the euro was at $1.3566 from $1.3673 Thursday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures saw a narrowly mixed day of trade to cap off a solid week of gains.
- Soybeans: Futures led price gains as soybean futures closed mostly higher.
- Wheat: Futures faced light profit-taking Friday, but posted very solid gains for the week.
- Cotton: Futures posted sharp gains to end the week on a strong note.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures faced profit-taking pressure Friday and finished the week lower than the prior week's close.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures faced some profit-taking pressure in late trade, with all contracts, with the exception of April live cattle, closing slightly lower.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Geithner Banks on Private Cash Treasury Secretary Says Investors Needed to Help U.S. Rid Balance Sheets of Bad Assets Treasury Sec. Geithner said in an interview that the government can't hold all the risk when it comes to getting rid of so-called "toxic" assets. Today he'll unveil a plan which focuses on the creation of a series of public-private investments to soak up $500 billion, and maybe as much as $1 trillion, in troubled loans and securities at the heart of the financial crisis. To encourage investors to buy those assets, the U.S. government will offer lucrative subsidies and shoulder much of the risk.
My Plan for Bad Bank Assets Op-ed item by Treasury Sec. Geithner.
- Food Industry Opposes Fee for More Inspections . While food companies back some proposals relative to improving the country's food safety, they are against annual fees to be paid for inspections.
- ECB Chief Says Boost In Stimulus Not Needed Jean-Claude Trichet told the Wall St. Journal that instead of pushing new measures, governments around the world should move faster on what they've already announced. He also signaled that the European Central Bank would not likely purchase long-term securities as the U.S. Fed has said it would.
- AIG's Rivals Blame Bailout For Tilting Insurance Game Competitors to AIG charge the firm is now cutting prices significantly, able to do so given its infusion of government cash. Others note the lower-priced insurance products could also end up costing the government and AIG money if they are paid on in future years.
As It Starts Programs, Fed Weighs How to Stop Them
Geithner Aides Worked With AIG for Months on Bonuses
Obama Says Constitutionality of House Bonus Bill in Doubt
- Imbalance in Nations' Savings Clouds Forecasts for Recovery. Some suggest the buildup of foreign currency reserves in countries like China helped to fuel the current crisis as the injection of those dollars into the global economy helped to feed the growth of debt in countries like the United States.
- Florida Growers Wary of Getting Squeezed . Florida's largest citrus producer is said to be examining whether Brazil juice companies are dumping their product on the U.S. market.
- Break the Addiction to Foreign Oil Letter to editor by Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. The writer counters claims in an editorial by the paper last week. He points out the economic and environmental benefits of ethanol production.
- Suncor to Buy Oil Rival. The merger of Canada's two biggest oil companies would be for about $15 billion, roughly a 30% premium for Petro-Canada.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- U.S. Rounding Up Investors to Buy Bad Assets The latest effort involves convincing the private sector to partner with the government to remove toxic assets like loans and mortgage-linked securities. But there has been some reluctance on the part of firms to want to take part if there are limits on compensation the companies can give to employees if they participate in the plans.
- Trade Barriers Rise as the Recession's Grip Tightens The World Bank, in a report last week, said that since the Washington meeting, 17 members of the Group of 20 had adopted 47 measures aimed at restricting trade.
- Energy Secretary Serves Under a Microscope The item profiles Dr. Chu as he continues in the top post at the Energy Dept., a situation where he is learning on the job and has stated he's learned everything he says is taken seriously and he can no longer "speculate out loud."
- Ideals Conflict as Stimulus Arrives in Texas Prairie Some of the proposed spending that will come as part of the stimulus plan is already causing discord in some areas of the country like Texas.
- Broken Trust Shakes Web From Farmer to Cow . The item looks at the issues raised when the head of a creamery in California left the state and warned the financials of the operation may not be sound.
- Advisers To Obama Wary of Bonus Tax Asset Plan Readied; President Reiterates Support for Geithner Questions are being raised about constitutionality of congressional plans to heavily tax bonuses paid out by AIG to current and former employees.
- Foreign Firms May Cash In on Stimulus Act With Expertise U.S. Companies Lack Some Have Expertise U.S. Companies Lack Foreign firms are in Washington pushing expertise areas that some of their firms have in areas which are at the heart of the stimulus effort -- clean energy, high-speed transit and other technologies.
||Monitoring the countryside
Wichita Eagle (Kansas)
- Beef industry looks past recession From Sunday's editions. University researchers are urging the cattle industry to look beyond the current economic woes and focus on issues that they can have some impact on.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)