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Money & Markets report undergoes changes

Today readers will notice a few changes to our Money & Markets report on the following page.

Expanding on our commodities report, we’ve added Northwest wheat prices halfway down the right side. The per-bushel bid price for four types of wheat delivered to Northwest exporters will appear Tuesday through Saturday. The numbers come from USDA Market News in Portland.

Washington produces nearly $1 billion worth of wheat annually, with 85 to 90 percent of it shipped overseas. It’s the state’s third most valuable farm product, behind apples and milk.

About three-quarters of Washington’s crop is winter wheat, predominantly soft white wheat, which is planted in the fall and harvested the next summer. White wheat is slightly sweeter than red wheat. The terms “hard” and “soft” refer to the density of the kernel.

In 2011, soft white wheat accounted for 77 percent of Washington’s wheat production. It’s the type used in pastries, pancakes, cookies, crackers and cereals. Hard red wheat, representing 22 percent of the state’s total, is used in yeast breads, hard rolls and bagels.

Other new features

Two other new features appear on the Money & Markets page, in the left column.

The “Today” item is an analytical look at the markets that prepares readers for the day. It tells them what to watch for – and why. Look here for previews of economic reports that could affect trading and previews of earnings reports and other company news that could move a stock.

Below that is a daily reader poll on the economy, investing or other business issues.

To make room for the new material, we dropped the “Spokane over the counter” report. Readers can keep tabs on penny stocks through the Over The Counter Bulletin Board, online at They also can check on any stock quote using the toll-free Tellme Networks line, 1-800-555-8355.

Feedback on these changes or on The Spokesman-Review’s business coverage is welcome. Call (509) 459-5528 or send email to

Read our business blog, Office Hours, at