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Twitter May Save Schwarzenegger & California

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Yesterday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sat down for a live webcast conversation with the co-founders of Twitter, Biz Stone and Evan Williams.

Williams, Twitter's CEO, and Stone, introduced the Governor as a leader who has vision and perspective about how to use technology to help t

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GDP, Job Losses Give Reason for Hope or Doubt?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to 570,000, and those collecting long-term unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level since April, government data showed on Thursday.

Also, the economy contracted more slowly than expected in the second quart

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Silver ETFs Safe From Regulations?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Interesting piece this morning from Seeking Alpha.

Many of the precious metals are heating up at the prospects that the economy is in recovery mode, and silver is no exception. Silver is up 26%, which gives the gold related ETFs a run for their market share.

The idea that industrial demand wil

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Cash for Crib Clunkers Starts Friday

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us have started a national program to get customers aware of baby products that could be unsafe for kids.

During the stores' "Great Trade-In" event, which starts Friday and runs through Sept. 20, customers can return used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers and some

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FDIC is Running Out of Money

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The coffers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that analysts warn it could sink into the red by the end of this year.

That has happened only once before, during the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s, when the

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Bond Prices Retreat After Auction

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

U.S. Treasurys traded little changed Wednesday, holding steady with the help of decent demand at the government's latest debt sale, which should assuage some worries over the country's burgeoning debt.

Treasury's $39 billion auction of five-year notes attracted strong demand overall, with the bid

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Former Pitcher Founds Hedge Fund

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

A former Major Leaguer has joined a new team, setting up his own hedge fund with a well-known Web prognosticator.

Todd Stottlemyre, who pitched for five different teams over a 14-year career, has founded Desert Shores Capital alongside Joe Donohue, who runs the investing Web site UpsideTrader.com

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Ted Kennedy eulogized on Twitter

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

As millions of Americans mourn the death of Senator Edward Kennedy today, notables from all walks of life are turning to the media and, more frequently, Twitter to offer words of remembrance about the late Liberal Lion of the Senate.

John Legend was among the first celebrities to post on Twitter:

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What Can We Learn from Tudor Jones Today?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

An interesting article from Barron's asks if now is the time to cue the tape from 1938.

Some, however, have looked to the tape from 1987.

"For the last few weeks a documentary about a young Paul Tudor Jones has been drawing new eyes on Wall Street.

The hour-long movie, Trader, follows the n

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US Postal Service Offers Massive Buyouts

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The U.S. Postal Service, the nation's second-largest employer, offered buyouts on Tuesday to quickly slash up to 30,000 jobs as it grapples with declining mail volume and embraces more automation.

The incentive for voluntary resignations and early retirements among a pool of veteran workers by th

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Big Corn Crop with Mysterious Price Tag

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

We've come a long way since last summer's $8 corn.

But the price of corn now and where it will be a few months from now is anyone's guess, despite data foreshadowing one of the largest corn crops on record.

"Corn is in a very interesting situation," said Darin Newsom, senior analyst for DTN.

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Senator Ted Kennedy: His Life and Legacy

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Senator Edward Kennedy, a political icon and the last of the iconic Kennedy Brothers, lost his battle with brain cancer overnight and passed away at the age of 77.

One of the most influential senators in U.S. history, Kennedy died at home in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, his acknowledged in a stateme

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Details on Dennis Gartman's Hedge Fund

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Now that Dennis Gartman has decided to join the 2 and 20 crowd, many are curious as to how the hedge fund will look and act.

Here are some details from Bloomberg:

* Dennis Gartman, an economist and the editor of the Gartman Letter, said he is creating his first hedge fund to speculate on asset

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The Economy to Shrink Further

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The US economy will shrink far more than expected this year and will rebound much more slowly than forecast after that, according to a bleak new assessment by the White House Budget Office.

The federal government also faces exploding deficits and mounting debt over the next decade, far worse than

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Fed Loses Transparency Suit

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

A federal judge on Monday ruled against an effort by the U.S. Federal Reserve to block disclosure of companies that participated in and securities covered by a series of emergency funding programs as the global credit crisis began to intensify.

In a 47-page opinion, Chief District Judge Loretta P

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Corn and Soybeans Behind Schedule

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Iowa's corn and soybean crop progress continues to lag behind averages, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that "concerns are growing over an early frost."

Farmers generally need most of September for their corn and soybean crops to reach full maturity before the frost. The statewide av

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Commodity ETF Halts Share Creations

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Barclays Global Investors has temporarily halted the further creation of shares of iShares S&P GSCI Commodity Indexed Trust (GSG), an exchange-traded fund indexed to a diversified group of commodities.

"We've taken this temporary step to protect existing

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Bernanke Reappointed as Fed Chair

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Helicopter Ben is getting another tour of duty.

And what does it mean for the markets?

A weaker dollar at least until next year and government intervention in the markets are to be expected as President Barack Obama reappointed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman, analysts and investment

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Readers Digest Going Broke?

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Reader's Digest Association says it has filed for prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of its restructuring plan.

The privately held publisher of the popular monthly magazine says the filing only affects its U.S. operations. The Pleasantville-based company announced earlier this

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More Bank Failures on The Way?

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

A prominent banking analyst said Sunday that 150 to 200 more U.S. banks will fail in the current banking crisis, and the industry's payments to keep the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp afloat could eat up 25 percent of pretax income in 2010.

Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities said this will likel

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Roubini Sees Double-Dip Risk

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Nouriel Roubini, one of the few economists who accurately predicted the magnitude of the world's recent financial troubles, sees a "big risk" of a double-dip recession, according to an opinion piece posted on the Financial Times' Web site on Sunday.

Roubini, a professor at New York University's S

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Index Funds Add Positions in CME Hogs

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Index funds added both long and short positions in Chicago Mercantile Exchange lean hog futures and options during the week ended Aug. 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.

Commercials reduced both long and short positions.

Index funds held 67,172 longs, up 378, and 2,

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Commodity ETFs and ETNs in Trouble?

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Several commodity ETFs and ETNs have announced that they are not issuing new shares, which means the only shares that will exist are the ones that exist now.

As a result, several funds are now trading at a premium to their underlying indexes. How did this happen, and when did ETFs and ETNs beco

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Quicksilver Bets on Natural Gas

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Quicksilver Resources Inc. Chairman Thomas Darden said supply and demand in the natural sector are currently "out of whack" but will correct as the economy recovers in the coming months.

Despite a seven-year low for natural gas prices, "demand will come back, and that's what the market is antici

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Dennis Gartman Launches First Hedge Fund

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Our old friend Dennis Gartman has big plans.

And we at Indiana Grain wish him well.

The noted economist and newsletter editor has launched his first hedge fund, continuing his foray into asset management after more than 20 years of daily commentary and market analysis.

Gartman launched the

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Existing Home Sales Surge

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Sales of existing U.S. homes jumped more than forecast in July to the highest level in almost two years, signaling the housing crisis that crippled the world’s largest economy is easing.

Purchases climbed 7.2 percent to a 5.24 million annual rate, the most since August 2007, the National Assoc

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The Markets Look to Bernanke

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The bulls have regained the upper hand as markets look ready to settle into a real summer lull.

The events though that could shake things up Friday are existing home sales for July, reported at 10 am, and a speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, also at 10 am. Bernanke speaks to the annual Kansas C

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Is the Era of the Super Rich Over?

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The rich have been getting richer for so long that the trend has come to seem almost permanent.

They began to pull away from everyone else in the 1970s. By 2006, income was more concentrated at the top than it had been since the late 1920s. The recent news about resurgent Wall Street pay has seem

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$196M Georgia Ethanol Plant in Trouble

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Georgia’s only corn ethanol plant could be running out of gas.

First United Ethanol LLC has limited liquidity and could slip into the arms of bankruptcy protection, the company warns in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

First United last fall opened a $196 million plant ne

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New-Home Market Remains in Deep Slump

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

When it comes to the economic recovery, the real estate and housing businesses are in very different places.

Though sales of existing homes appear to be bouncing back (as cheap foreclosure properties attract vulture investors and first-time buyers) the market for new homes remains stuck below sea

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Sugar Slides and Grains Wary of CFTC

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Major commodity indexes eased in mixed trade on Thursday as sugar recoiled from a near 28-year high, oil futures stalled below seven-week highs and the dollar and the U.S. economy provided little direction.

The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodity futures fell 1.16 percent to 256.93, and t

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Where are the traders from Kingstree Trading?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 14

It was like a blast from the past.

In recent days, I have heard from more than a few former associates who once worked at Kingstree Trading, LLC in Chicago.

As I sift through voicemail, Tweets, and Facebook messages, the names and faces are all so familiar.

But gone is much of the financial

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Indiana Directing Funds to Corn Ethanol

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Governor Mitch Daniels highlighted a bill at a ceremonial signing recently that revises the current corn marketing program to include a $500,000 ethanol program, funded by Indiana’s corn farmers.

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC), the state’s corn checkoff organization, will annually

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Vilsack on Health Care and Ethanol

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

An interesting article in the Des Moines Register this morning.

If you've ever wondered what our Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack really thinks about health care and ethanol, here's your chance.

On Ethanol:

Vilsack embraced more use of ethanol. "This is a supply issue. What we need are mor

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Tudor Jones Sees Bear Market Rally

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

An interesting report from StreetInsider.com, reveals that Paul Tudor Jones' hedge fund sees the market run as a bear market rally.

In a letter to investors of Paul Tudor Jones' hedge fund, Tudor Investment, the fund classified the current market run as a "bear market rally," according to a repor

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WSJ: Traders Beware of Crude Oil

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

Crude oil futures inched upward slightly in Asia Thursday, helped by a rebound in regional stock markets.

This obviously follows a sharp overnight rally off of news that there was a surprise decline in U.S. oil inventories.

Overnight, the New York Mercantile Exchange contract for light, sweet

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AgSquawk Breaks CFTC News

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Yesteday, AgSquawk reported before other traders audio services that CFTC is launching a new approach to the market's biggest traders as part of an effort to curb excessive speculation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission "revoked exemptions previously

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Corn, Soybeans Fall on Good Weather

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Corn and soybeans dropped on speculation that favorable weather will increase U.S. crop yields and after the dollar stemmed declines.

Warm temperatures and mostly adequate soil moisture favors developing corn and pod setting soybeans in the Midwest, Minneapolis-based DTN Meteorlogix LLC said yest

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Jim Cramer Wonders if Correction is Over

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

CNBC claims that Jim Cramer was right about the most recent sell-off.

He said it would be shallow, and it was. Note the Dow’s 83-point rally on Tuesday after a brief 3% dip as vindication of his call.

The bears must be stunned and confused.

Just yesterday they could have pointed to what

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China Stocks Retreat, Global Investors Worry

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

China's stock market crashed before the economy's steep slowdown last year, and it soared before the strong recovery earlier this year. So does the current sell-off presage fresh economic troubles?

China's benchmark share index fell 4.3 percent on Wednesday and is now down 20 percent from two wee

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Cotton May Extend Drop Says Gartman

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Cotton may extend this month’s price decline because of slumping equities in China, the biggest user and importer of the fiber, said Dennis Gartman, an economist and the editor of the Gartman Letter.

Cotton fell today to the lowest price since July 30, after the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composit

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Rutabagas for Biofuel

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Researchers at Michigan State University are working to turn the rutabaga into an oil-producing powerhouse that could make the turnip-like vegetable a better source of biofuel than other food crops.

The idea is that the rutabaga, which stores oil in its seeds like some other biofuel crops, could

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Hedge Funds Soar While Managers Sink

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Not everyone can be Paul Tudor Jones.

And it shows.

Hedge funds are having their best year since 1998, yet most fund managers still are well below their peaks before the market's meltdown last year, industry analysts tell CNBC.

Hedge fund assets rose 2.5 percent in July, contributing to a 9

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EPA Biased Against Ethanol?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Is the Environmental Protection Agency deliberately trying to “stack the deck” against ethanol and other biofuels?

That’s the question being raised after the agency released the peer review it had said it would conduct on the computer models used to calculate the impact of indirect land use

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Cargill Profit Suffers on Low Fertilizer Demand

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Bloomberg News is reporting that Cargill Inc., the largest privately held U.S. company, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit plunged 69 percent because of lower demand for fertilizers.

Net income declined to $327 million for the three months through May 31 from $1.05 billion a year earlier, Minneton

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White Mold Outbreak in Ohio

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Rainy weather and cooler-than-normal summer temperatures have resulted in a white mold outbreak in soybeans throughout parts of Ohio. It's the first major outbreak of the disease in the state in nearly a decade.

Anne Dorrance, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist with the Ohio Agr

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Target Profit Falls

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Target reported its eighth consecutive drop in quarterly profit, but the results were better than Wall Street had expected as the No 2 U.S. discount retailer cut costs and stocked less merchandise.

Target said profit was $594 million, or 79 cents per share, for its second quarter ended Aug. 1, co

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Corn Crop May Prove Smaller Than We Think

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Bloomberg News is out with an interesting news story that traders may want to consider this week.

Corn and soybean crops in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, may be smaller than the government predicted after planting delays and an unusual dry spell, said Jerry Gidel at North American Risk

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Building a Barley Ethanol Business

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Congratulations to Osage Bio Energy!

Osage Bio Energy has a barley business partner and a winner bin builder.

The Virginia-based company just announced an agreement with Perdue AgriBusiness to source barley to operate its first barley-to-ethanol bioprocessing facility. Perdue, a leading grain

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Will Commodities Rebound Today?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Commodities prices sank across the board Monday as investors sought safer assets on fears that consumers' reluctance to spend is will stymie the economic recovery.

Investors turned to the relative safety of the dollar and government bonds and moved money out of riskier investments like stocks and

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Time to Put a Rally Cap on?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

As we see this morning, European stocks and U.S. futures are advancing and industrial metals are gaining as German investor confidence improved more than forecast and on speculation a government report will show U.S. housing starts climbed.

“There is still much to be optimistic about for the s

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VIX Anxiety Gauge Jumps 15%

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX jumped more than 15 percent on Monday as U.S. stocks tumbled on renewed concerns about the potential strength of the economic recovery.

The widely-watched VIX, considered to be Wall Street's fear gauge, often moves inversely to the broad S&P 500 index .SPX. Major U.

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Ethanol Ash For Possible Fertilizer

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Researchers at South Dakota State University are trying to find out if they can squeeze one more product out of the ethanol process.

Dried distiller's grains is a byproduct of turning corn into ethanol. It can be fed to livestock or it can be heated to produce a gas that is useful in making biopl

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Fed Expands TALF Lending to 2010

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The Federal Reserve said Monday it will extend its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility another six months though it said conditions were improving in some areas.

In a joint announcement with the Treasury Department, the central bank said the TALF, as the program is known, now will run unti

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Managed Funds Get Long CBOT Grains

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 2

Large speculators added to their net long positions in Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybean futures while piling up shorts in wheat futures, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

Managed funds were net long 67,049 contracts in CBOT soybeans as of the close

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Traders Gear Up for Market Sell Off

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

U.S. stocks could extend last week's retreat after a four-week advance as the earnings season winds down and investors search for signs that consumer spending will help sustain an economic recovery.

Fewer than 50 Standard & Poor's 500 companies remain to report quarterly financial results, includ

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Tropical Storm Bill Now a Hurricane

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

Tropical Storm Bill became the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season Monday but remained far from any land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Bill's sustained winds reached to nearly 75 miles per hour as it churned through the Atlantic Ocean more than 1,160 miles east of the Lesser A

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China Buys Billions in US Mortgages

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

China Investment Corp, the country's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, is set to pour up to $2 billion soon into the U.S. mortgage system by hiring mandates under the U.S. Treasury-backed Public-Private Investment Plan (PPIP), sources told Reuters.

Under the PPIP program launched earlier this y

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Barclays May Hire JPMorgan Commodities Traders

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

Barclays may hire five commodity traders from JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Sunday Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information.

The team, led by Todd Edgar, 37, was offered a combined $25 million in salaries and bonuses and a share in future profits that may double the amount, new

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Will Commodities Continue Giving Back Gains?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

Commodities sold off Friday, giving back some of their recent gains as new economic data downplayed the threat of inflation but also signaled that consumers are unlikely to increase their spending anytime soon.

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index was flat in July after a slight inc

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Clunkers Program Slows Car Gifts

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

The popular "cash-for-clunkers" program is boosting U.S. auto sales and manufacturing but is also slashing donations to charities that rely on gifts of cars to fund social programs, charity officials say.

Volunteers of America and other charities that receive tens of thousands of cars each year s

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Special Thank You to Iowa Grain's Marc Gitelis

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

It was quite a night.

Yes, Iowa Grain Company's Marc Gitelis deserves a very special thank you from Indiana Grain Company for hosting a roof top pow-wow last night in Chicago that allowed old friends to catch up, share a few drinks, and share some biting commentary.

I guess you could say we

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El-Erian Calls Stocks Overly Optimistic

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 2

The stock market has gotten ahead of reality, Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian told CNBC Friday.

In a continuation of recent comments, El-Erian, co-chief executive officer of the largest bond fund manager in the world, said the US has yet to see a durable and sustainable recovery.

"Stock investors are

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42% Price Hike on Monsanto GM Corn

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Bloomberg News says that "Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed maker, plans to charge as much as 42 percent more for new genetically modified seeds next year than older offerings because they increase farmers’ output.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will cost farmers an average of $74 an acr

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Wheat Futures May Languish

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Interesting story in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

U.S. wheat futures are expected to languish for months because of hefty world supplies, unless neighboring grain markets rally or Australia suffers serious crop losses.

Perceptions of large global supplies and sluggish export demand ha

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BofA May Expand Commodities Group 25%

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

According to Bloomberg News, "Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. lender, may expand its metals and energy team by 25 percent in the next two to three years as a rebound in commodities attracts billions of dollars of investments.

The bank, which bought Merrill Lynch & Co. for $29 billion in J

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Volkswagen Gets into Porsche

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Volkswagen on Thursday agreed to buy a 42 percent stake in the sports car unit of debt-ridden Porsche, another step toward combining the two German carmakers into a European automotive giant.

VW will pay up to 3.3 billion euros ($4.7 billion) this year for the initial stake in the unit, Porsche

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Sugar Output in India May Rise

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Although no one is close to saying that the sugar shortage is ending, there may be help on the way.

According to Bloomberg: "Sugar output in India, the world’s biggest consumer, may rise 20 percent in year starting October as rains in key growing areas improve yields, said a producers’ group

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Who is the Highest Paid CEO?

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By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Taking his private equity firm public paid off big for Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarzman, who became the top-paid chief executive in the United States last year, a title he is likely to retain for some time, according to an analysis released on Thursday.

But the surest route to big bucks was

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30-Year Auction Proves Strong

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

U.S. government debt prices added to gains following a strong auction of 30-year bonds.

The Treasury sold $15 billion in the long bonds at a high yield of 4.541 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio of 2.54 represented solid demand; the expected ratio for a 30-year sale is about 2.30. Bid-to-cover repr

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NYSE Having Issues Processing Orders

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The New York Stock Exchange said on Thursday some NYSE & NYSE Amex customers "are currently experiencing issues" with acknowledgments of order entries.

The exchange said in an email the issue is under investigation. A representative said there was currently no further information.

We will upda

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Sugar Shock for US Food Giants

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Large U.S. food companies said the country could "virtually run out of sugar" unless the Obama administration eased import curbs, the Wall Street Journal said.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack, the companies (including Kraft Foods, General Mills, Hershey and Mars) said there co

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Iowa Ready for Largest Corn Crop in History

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The combination of plentiful rainfall and a relatively cool summer could produce Iowa's largest corn crop ever. That is welcome news to the ethanol producers, livestock farms and food companies that will need the grain next year.

The Agriculture Department estimated Wednesday that Iowa will prod

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Paulson's Hedge Fund Believes in BofA

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

CNBC is reporting that Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who earned a fortune by betting against financial companies after foreseeing the credit crisis, bought a $2.7 billion stake in Bank of America and took stakes in other lenders during the second quarter, according to a regulatory filing.

Paul

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Sugar May Rise Above Present 28 Year High

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Sugar has never looked sweeter for those who are long the commodity.

But it has almost everyone nervous.

Sugar extended its rally overnight to the highest price since 1981 as below-average rainfall during the monsoon season in India threatens to reduce the cane crop and force the world’s lar

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Spotlight on Dave Bahoric at Trade the News

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 2

We at Indiana Grain love our friends at Trade the News.

And today was a great reminder why that is.

Indeed, it was a big day for markets from start to finish, a session that began on the heels of a major crop report and culminated with the FOMC statement that sent bonds and notes into a frenzy

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Fed May Soon Stop Buying Treasurys

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will extend the duration but not the dollar amount of a program to buy long-term government securities, and said the economy was showing signs of leveling out after 20 months of recession.

The Fed, the US central bank, also kept its benchmark short-term inter

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Was There Really a Crop Report Today?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

You would think that markets would react to a bearish crop report with significant selling in the grains.

But that's not happening today,

Despite a glut of corn and beans, we're seeing a rally this morning that has likely stunned many traders.

From corn to wheat, there are indeed other fact

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USDA Crop Report: Firm Beans and Weak Corn?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

USDA crop production and supply and demand reports were bearish for Chicago Board of Trade corn, bullish for soybeans and neutral for wheat, traders say.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports lowered projected soybean production and yield beyond trade expectations. Meanwhile, the corn produ

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USDA May Slash Soybean Crop Estimate

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 3

Slow crop development and the potential that USDA could lower its estimate of corn acreage cloud the outlook for U.S. corn and soybean production heading into Wednesday’s first USDA survey estimate of the 2009 crops.

The uncertainty has kept most trade estimates of the U.S. corn and soybean cro

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A Rate Hike This Week? Maybe Yes, Maybe No

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 2

The Federal Reserve most likely won't be delivering any rate hikes at its meeting this week, but it can deliver something many investors are looking for: hope.

As Wall Street seeks to hold on to a stunning 50 percent rally off its March lows, the Federal Reserve's take on the economy's strength a

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Fed Dilemma on Display Today

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

There's a growing sense the dollar may be ready to stretch its legs and jump off the financial seesaw that has kept it trading in an opposite direction to risk assets, like commodities and stocks.

Stock investors took profits Tuesday in a selling spree that took the S&P 500 down 12 points to 994,

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Reason for Optimism in Grains?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 1

Corn and soybean conditions are stabilizing at numbers typical of this time of year, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. And, with the critical soybean development month of August almost one-third complete, that crop's generally seen slightly better than the last few years at this

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New York Fed Hiring Many New Traders

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has embarked on a hiring spree, seeking to recruit traders to manage its bulging securities holdings, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

The New York Fed plans to raise the number of employees in its markets group to 400 by the end of then year, compared wi

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Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies at 88

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a member of the famed Kennedy clan who devoted much of her life to children's charities, including founding the Special Olympics, died at the age of 88 early Tuesday morning.

Her family said in a statement that Shriver passed away peacefully in Hyannis, the Massachusetts t

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Sugar Rallies 40% in Options Pointing to 1981 Peak

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Damaged crops from India to Brazil mean the world won’t have enough sugar for a second straight year.

Global demand will exceed output by as much as 5 million metric tons in the year through September 2010, leading to a record two-year shortfall, according to the International Sugar Organizatio

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EBay, GM Set to Start Car Selling Trial

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Hundreds of General Motors' California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the eBay online marketplace under a trial that begins Tuesday.

About 225 of California's 250 GM dealers are set to take part in the program. They will be selling Buick, Chevrol

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Feds Restraining $100 Million in Drill Leases?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Brian Wixom's company has paid the U.S. government hundreds of thousands of dollars for leases to drill for oil and gas on federal lands over the years, only to never put a rig in the ground.

The money simply sits in a federal bank account as Wixom and other drillers wait for an agonizing bureauc

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Overdrafting Their Way Back to Solvency?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Banks in the United States are poised to make $38.5 billion in customer overdraft fees this year, the Financial Times said, citing research by Moebs Services.

A large portion of the revenue is likely to come from the most financially stretched consumers, according to the paper.

It said the res

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Spotlight on USDA Crop Report, Then Weather

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The U.S. government's long-awaited crop report on Wednesday will give world grain traders their first indications from field surveys of expected final yields.

With the United States providing more than a third of the world's soybean exports and more than half of its corn exports, the U.S. Agricu

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Hedge Funds Off To Best Start In 10 Years

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Let the superlatives continue!

The first seven months of 2009 have been the best for hedge funds in terms of performance in a decade, according to HedgeFund.net.

Preliminary figures show the HFN Hedge Fund Aggregate Average up about 12% this year, their best start to a year in 10 years. The p

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Dykstra Could Face Liquidation

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Baseball legend and investor Lenny Dykstra is being accused of "dishonest conduct" by the US Trustee's office of federal bankruptcy court. As a result, the trustee is asking the judge to consider converting Dykstra's Chapter 11 reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

The trustee looks into the

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Citigroup Considers Big Changes

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Will Citigroup turn loose its $100 million man, Andrew J. Hall?

After putting out feelers to sell its Phibro commodities business, including a brief talk with the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, Citigroup is considering a variety of options. Among them is a deal that would give control of

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Farmer Groups buy Former Verasun Ethanol Plant

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

A coalition of farmer groups have purchased the Janesville, MN ethanol plant, which became a symbol of ethanol's woes when the huge refinery was built during the boom, but never opened.

Soon, it will be in operation for the first time, thanks to nine farmer-owned ethanol plants that jointly purch

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July Job Losses Seen Slowing

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

July's employment report could show job losses abating more than expected, even as the unemployment rate creeps closer to 10 percent.

Wall Street economists were still crunching their forecasts Thursday, with some coming in well under what had been the street's consensus.

"The consensus is fo

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CFTC Poised to Introduce Limits

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said the agency could introduce by the fall draft rules that would seek to set position limits curbing trading in commodities futures.

"I look forward to looking at this and if we decide to go forward with it I imagine we would introduce

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Twitter Attacked by Hackers

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The popular social networking site Twitter had its service disrupted across the US Thursday, the victim of an attack by hackers.

The service has been disrupted since 9 am EST.

Another social networking site, LiveJournal, also is down, CNBC has learned. Facebook also said it was "looking into"

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Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped more sharply-than-expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, boosting views that the labor market and the economy were stabilizing.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell 38,000 to a

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$2 Billion Clunkers Refill?

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The Senate reached a deal on saving the dwindling "cash for clunkers" program late Wednesday, agreeing to vote on a plan that would add $2 billion to the popular rebate program and give car shoppers until September to trade in their gas-guzzlers for a new ride.

The program offers car buyers rebat

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Bank of England Holds Rates

Posted:
By: Thomas Grisafi
Comments: 0

The Bank of England extended its quantitative easing program on Thursday, raising the size of its bond purchase scheme to an unexpectedly large 175 billion pounds from 125 billion, and held interest rates at 0.5 percent.

The decision enables the central bank to continue its prograe of asset purch

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