My goodness, what's going on in China?
A 9 percent slide in Chinese stocks earlier set the tone for U.S. trading, a day after investors sent Shanghai's benchmark index to a record high close.
Investors' confidence has been knocked down by a slew of data showing that the economy may be decelerating more than anticipated. A Commerce Department report that orders for durable goods in January dropped by the largest amount in three months exacerbated jitters about the direction of the U.S. economy, which were raised a day earlier when former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the economy may be headed for a recession. [More]
Whatever, it seems to have reverberated across to Wall Street. The recent tug-of-war between recession fears and inflation-fighting may reverse today's anxiety tomorrow, but it looks like the stalemate could continue on interest rates.
Volatility in major markets triggers efforts to avoid risks. However, farmers often pay too much for fixed rates, in my opinion. My last comparison was 1.25% difference. Assuming a steady rise, rates would have to increase 2.5% over a 1 year operating loan for example, to break even.
Today's action shows me nothing that could suggest the Fed ramping up that fast. In fact, another day like this and recession looks closer, with the Fed belatedly lowering rates to spur growth.
Could this be affecting corn prices? I dunno. It'd really hard to sort out the spec money actions, let alone predict. But if corn falls too far, a bigger mandate for more ethanol is my bet.