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BUSINESS BRIEFS

BUSINESS BRIEFS

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Hurricane sinks corn prices

Corn prices in Chicago sank to a seven-week low as broken grain elevators and power outages in the nation’s busiest agricultural port raised concerns about grain supplies with nowhere to go.

Hurricane Ida shuttered export terminals in New Orleans, Louisiana. Food supply chains were already under severe pressure amid the pandemic, with shortages of everything from packaging to truck drivers.

The U.S. is the world’s biggest corn supplier, and about two-thirds of its grain and soy exports exit through ports surrounding the southern metropolis. If disruptions linger, it could cause a supply glut just as growers in the Midwest Corn Belt start harvesting crops.

“Boats, barges, fleets are a mess and will take some time to get any flow back running,” Advance Trading Inc.’s Drew Moore said in a Farm Progress post Tuesday. — Bloomberg News

Move jeopardizes railroad deal

Canadian National’s $33.6 billion deal to acquire Kansas City Southern railroad is in jeopardy after federal regulators on Tuesday rejected a key part of the plan and opened the door for a competing $31 billion offer from Canadian Pacific Railway.

The Surface Transportation Board said Canadian National won’t be able to use a voting trust to acquire Kansas City Southern and hold the railroad while the board reviews the overall deal. It wasn’t clear whether Kansas City Southern will still want to move forward with the deal.

For more than two decades the railroad industry has been stable, with two railroads in the Western United States — BNSF and Union Pacific — two in the Eastern United States — CSX and Norfolk Southern — and the two Canadian railroads that serve part of the United States. — AP

S&P 500 gains for 7th month

A wobbly day on Wall Street ended Tuesday with major indexes slipping just below recent record highs, but the S&P 500 closed out August solidly in the green with its seventh straight monthly gain.

Investors are busy trying to figure out just how much of an impact rising COVID-19 cases will have on the still recovering economy. The market has been choppy amid a mix of economic data, some of which has signaled that consumers are becoming more cautious.

“The market is still really dealing and grappling with the question of what direction are we taking,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 index fell 6.11 points or 0.1%, to 4,522.68, after setting a record high a day prior. — AP

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