Snapshot of news and events for today
||Major world indicators
- The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 87.07 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,086.03.
- The dollar was at 98.68 yen from 98.27 yen.
Friday's U.S. Markets...
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32.50, or 0.5 percent, to 6,626.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 5.74, or 0.4 percent, to 1,293.85. For the week, the Dow was down 6.2 percent and the Nasdaq down 6.1 percent. The Dow is now down more than half from its Oct. 2007 high, marking the second worst showing by the Dow since 1929-32, when the Dow lost more than 85 percent.
- The 10-year Treasury note note was down 4/32 point, or $1.250 per $1,000 face value, at 99 10/32. Its yield rose to 2.830 percent.
- The dollar was at 98.27 yen from 96.75 yen, while the euro was at $1.2639 from $1.2673.
||Yesterday's action and
What happened the prior trading day...
- Corn: Futures saw a choppy week of trade, finishing about steady with the prior week's close.
- Soybeans: Futures posted double-digit gains today to finish just slightly lower for the week.
- Wheat: Futures closed with double-digit gains Friday to finish with slight gains for the week.
- Cotton: Futures finished the day mixed, seeing a choppy, lackluster day of trade.
- Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed higher Friday.
- Live Cattle: Live cattle futures finished the week under sharp pressure, with April cattle closing the week $3.47 below the prior week's close and posted a new contract low.
||Other reports affecting agriculture
||Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact
Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)
- Lean Factories Find It Hard to Cut Jobs Even in a Slump Factories have already trimmed jobs prior to the recession and that has meant they've been able to cut fewer workers now. The item looks at how the manufacturing sector is faring compared to the last recession in terms of job cuts and order reductions.
- New Fears as Credit Markets Tighten Up While there had been signs earlier this year the credit market was indeed beginning to thaw, many say that has now reversed course. Solid firms still have access to capital, especially those backed by the government, while others are seeing the credit market become pricier.
- U.S. to Push for Global Stimulus The Obama administration's push for global economic stimulus efforts could put it at odds with European countries who want a focus on regulatory shifts to address one of the factors contributing to the current financial market situation.
In Defense of Obamanomics Commentary item by Laura D'Andrea Tyson, a professor of business and public policy at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. She served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and as the National Economic Adviser under President Clinton.
Watchdog Over Stimulus Spending Toes a Delicate Line
- Who Pays for Cap and Trade? Hint: They were promised a tax cut during the Obama campaign. Editorial. The paper argues that working class Americans will shoulder much of the financial burden that will come with any cap-and-trade efforts to address climate change, the very group that the Obama administration keeps insisting will see a tax cut.
- Watchdog Over Stimulus Spending Toes a Delicate Line. Government officials are expected to meet with automakers this week as the March 31 deadline nears for a government decision on whether or not to provide the auto industry with financing they say is needed to maintain their survival.
- Smithfield's Results to Give Peek At State of Global Food Sales. The company reports results for its latest quarter Thursday and some look to this data to provide some perspective on what consumers are buying in the wake of the global economic downturn.
New York Times (registration to site required)
- A Rising Dollar Lifts the U.S. but Adds to the Crisis Abroad The flow of capital to emerging countries has virtually dried up as investors are keeping more of their dollars at home or in government bonds.
- World Bank Says Global Economy Will Shrink in '09 The World Bank says that the global economy and trade will contract for the first time since World War II and warned the financial disruptions are all but certain to overwhelm the ability of institutions like it and the International Monetary Fund to provide a buffer.
- Geithner, With Few Aides, Faces Challenges. Treasury Sec. Geithner is tackling a host of issues as he heads up the Treasury Dept., but many of those activities are being accomplished and put together without the usual staff as appointments have been slow in coming. It has impacted some areas on policy.
||Monitoring the countryside
Fargo Forum (North Dakota)
- Grain marketing is important but complicated From Sunday's editions. The item looks at the efforts of a group of farmers who have joined together to form a marketing club to improve their skills in this critical area for survival of ag operations.
Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
- Last chance for Republican River talks The next 10 days will see lawyers gather in Denver relative to the suit brought by Kansas that Nebraska has overused the Republican River despite agreeing to honor a World War II agreement. The matter is poised to return to the U.S. Supreme Court if a June decision by an arbitrator doesn't rectify the situation.
Des Moines Register (Iowa)
- Proposal to slash subsidies isn't only clinker From Sunday's editions. Farmers are not initially pleased with some of the stances being taken by the Obama administration, a situation which doesn't set well with the state's farmers as they are coming in part from their former governor.
|Laughing with, not at
||From political humorists
David Letterman: Top Ten Signs Your Stockbroker Is Losing It Top Ten 10. His "office" is in the patio section at Wal-Mart 9. Assures you President McCain will lower interest rates 8. Buys 15,000 shares of a company called "Gogle" 7. He has a seat on the Bayonne Stock Exchange 6. When you ask him what he thinks about the market, he does this: "meow" 5. Last week, got into a shouting match with his calculator 4. Claims to be the bastard child of Merill and Lynch 3. When the opening bell rings, he screams, "Fire!" 2. Makes you call him "mommy" so he can list you as a dependent 1. During the day he handles your money; at night he handles your wife