Equities markets continue to sift value from stocks and bonds. Corporate boardrooms continue to adjust production and personnel needs. In many cases, that has meant layoffs ... and that unemployment has dampened consumer moods even in the wake of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts designed to encourage more retail consumption.
In Rural America, the pressing demands of the season are tied more directly to commodity output than consumption. Nevertheless, agricultural output is linked to a global marketplace.
The story is much the same in the soy fields. Fifty seven percent of the crop has been harvested compared to the historic average of 63 percent.
Closer to the normal pace, 37 percent of the cotton crop is headed to the gin. And the 2001-rice harvest is nearing completion. Ninety three percent has left the field.
Even though the harvest is lagging, the market expressing harvest pressure. Prices in the futures pits and in the country sagged most of the week.