What Traders are Talking About:
* USDA Nov. crop reports will go on as scheduled. Brokerage firm R.J. O'Brien sent a letter to USDA Monday requesting the November crop reports be pushed back until Nov. 14 as firms deal with the transfer of funds following MF Global's bankruptcy filing. But USDA says the reports will go on as planned, with the data to be released Wednesday morning.
The long and short of it: The denial of the request by USDA is not a surprise as it would take highly unusual circumstances for the ag department to alter its report schedule.
* Minor tweaking expected in USDA reports. USDA is expected to make modest changes to its corn and soybean crop estimates tomorrow morning, with both seen slightly smaller than last month. Traders are anticipating a smaller corn carryover projection, while soybean ending stocks are expected to rise. Wheat ending stocks are seen down slightly from last month.
The long and short of it: Unless there's dramatic surprise on the supply side, USDA's usage projections and the carryover pegs will garner the bulk of the attention.
* Investors keep nervous watch on euro-zone. The Italian parliamentary lower house is scheduled to vote today on budget measures that could lead to a confidence vote for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. So far, Berlusconi has denied he will step down voluntarily despite many strong calls for him to do so. Italian 10-year bonds hit a record high overnight, touching off fear of massive debt default. Meanwhile, investors are also awaiting news of the new leader in Greece, although Italy carries much more weight because of the size of the respective economies.
The long and short of it: Attention on Italy is ramped up from that given to Greece because Italy and it's third largest euro-zone economy has the potential to trigger recession in the region and possibly cause global contagion. But so far, market reaction has been remarkably calm given the potential impact the Italian situation could have on the region and world.
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