Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed down 0.13 percent, or 18.18 points, at 13,463.20 points.
- The dollar stood at 105.93 yen, down from 106.10 in New York late Monday
Monday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 3.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to end at 11,350.01 -- posting its worst June performance since 1930 and ended the quarter with a 7.4 percent decline. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 22.65 points, or 1 percent, to 2,292.98 -- advanced 0.6 percent in the quarter but remains down 19.8 percent from its multi-year high hit last October.
- The 2-year Treasury note was up1/32, yielding 2.616 percent. The benchmark 10-year note was unchanged, yielding 3.971 percent. The 30-year bond gained 1/32 to yield 4.522 percent.
- The dollar traded at 106.18 yen from 106.16 yen, while the euro was at $1.5744 from $1.5790 Friday.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened yesterday...
- Corn: Futures opened lower and sharply extended losses to finish limit lower (30 cents lower).
- Soybeans: Futures saw a highly choppy day of trade on the charts, finishing higher after a weaker open.
- Wheat: Futures closed 40 to 50-plus cents higher at all three exchanges.
- Cotton: Futures closed sharply lower, near limit lower levels on pressure from USDA's report data.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed mid- to low-range and posted sharp losses for the day.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures closed $1.22 to $1.67 lower in all but the June contract, which expired 37 cents lower at $100.60 at noon, CT.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Corn Crop Largely Intact, Despite Floods Estimate Is Raised On More Planting; Futures Prices Drop The Acreage Report issued by USDA indicated that more corn acres were planted this year compared to March expectations, easing some concerns about corn supplies for the coming year.
- Stocks End Quarter Just Above 'Bear,' But Challenges Remain for Rest of Year. The item (and a special section in today's edition) look at the quarter ending June 30 and noting the stock market avoiding falling into "bear market" territory, but not by much.
- Anger Rises Over Salmonella Probe No source has been pinpointed yet in the salmonella outbreak that appeared in tomatoes, angering growers and others as they await word from the FDA.
- Obama VP Pick May Shore Up Security Weak Spot The article talks about two potential vice presidential candidates for Sen. Obama, including the unlikely pick of former vice president Al Gore.
- Fukuda's Low-Key Style Frustrates Japanese On Eve of Hosting G-8 Summit, Prime Minister Struggles to Get Basic Laws Passed at Home Japan's prime minister has proved not very effective in getting things moved through the Japanese legislative system, a partial reflection of his preference of not being an in-public leader.
- Smithfield Unit to Merge With Spanish Company Smithfield Foods' European joint venture with Oaktree Capital Management LLC will be acquired by Spain's Campofrio Alimentacion SA in an all-stock deal.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- Iraq Opens Oil Fields To Global Bidding 60% Increase In Output Sought The hope is to build up output by 1.5 million barrels per day from the six oil fields, with 35 companies selected to bid on the projects.
- U.S. Wheat Begins New Aid to N. Korea U.N. Agreement Aims to Feed Millions More, With Unprecedented Monitoring The U.S. will provide most of the food aid this year in a deal signed between North Korea and the UN World Food Program.
- Who's Behind High Prices Editorial by Robert Samuelson. The writer notes that speculators who are currently getting the blame for increased commodity prices aren't really the culprits -- rather it's good old supply & demand.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- USDA says floods cut corn acres The item looks at the Acreage Report results and quotes an Iowa State University expert as saying the situation really is about a "wash" -- increases in corn planted acres from March were mostly offset by a reduction in harvested acres.
- Sugar industry benefits from U.S. farm bill. Farm-state lawmakers and those in the sugar industry say their sector of U.S. agriculture came out good in the farm bill.
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Big plantings soften flood losses Most are focusing on the increased plantings compared to March intentions on corn when it comes to USDA's June Acreage report released Monday.
Denver Post (Colorado)
- Crucial corn crop at nature's mercy The U.S. corn crop could face a major challenge if dry weather hits it this summer as root systems are shallow from all the rain received in early June in many Corn Belt areas.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: "Al Gore has endorsed Barack Obama for president. … Medical experts say this is great because it gives the Obama campaign a much needed shot of boredom.”
David Letterman: "Al Gore. Think about it.” If he endorses you, "you're getting an endorsement from a guy who has received an Academy Award, received a Grammy,” and the "Nobel Prize.” Oh, and "Gore…also won a competitive eating contest.”
David Letterman: "And now, of course, going head to head, you have Barack Obama and John McCain. They're already putting together debates. Here's how it will be. Barack Obama says after each question, he wants a one-minute response. And John McCain says after each question, he wants a five- minute nap.”
Conan O'Brien: "Barack Obama's staff and John McCain's staff are busy now negotiating when the presidential debates will take place. … Yeah, Obama wants them to be in September, and McCain wants them to be after his nap, but before ‘Wheel of Fortune.'”
Conan O'Brien: "Speaking of Barack Obama, yesterday, Barack Obama said, if he becomes president, he will replace the White House bowling alleys because it's something he would never use. … Yeah, apparently, this is the same reason President Bush got rid of the White House Library.”
Conan O'Brien: "This weekend, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton will be attending the same conference in Florida. … Yeah, the conference is sponsored by the National Association of Men Who Have Been Attacked by Hillary Clinton.” =