June 26, 2009

Friday, June 27, 1930: Dow 220.58 +5.00 (2.3%)

Assorted historical stuff:

Congressional subcommittee praises strategy of accelerating public works projects to moderate unemployment in business slowdowns, emphasizes good psychological effect of doing this quickly.

Treasury Sec. Mellon strongly criticizes a resolution by Congressman McFadden to prevent U.S. banks from buying German annuity bonds. Says government should not manage private businesses, “whether bank or barnyard,” also that investment in foreign bonds helps trade and should be encouraged.

Billionth ton of steel produced in US. First steel produced in US in 1810; last half-billion tons produced over past 12 years.

San Francisco-Tokyo dirigible (airship) service to be started in 1931 by Japanese company. Trip will take 68 hours.

I.R.T. (New York subways and el lines) is having some financial trouble even though revenues are up. Problems include structure of contracts with city, competition with new lines the city is building, and orders from the Transit Commission to buy a bunch of new cars they don't have the money for.

Severin, the renowned French mime, has died. Performed for many years in prewar Paris, best known for Pierrot character. Career ended after the World War, as “Comedy was no longer finely and delicately etched; it was painted with a broad brush.” Severin's death recalls the tragic case of Marcelline, the great American circus mime who headlined for years at the Hippodrome. When movies ended his career, he comitted suicide - in full costume and makeup.

Market commentary:

Stock rally continued from yesterday afternoon. Market opened firm, bears attempted attacks early, particularly on US Steel based on recent drop in steel product prices. Attack quickly failed, Steel gradually gained, and gains spread through other leading industrials, many of which had large gains from recent lows. Stocks with good gains included GE, Westinghouse, Allied Chem, many utilities, banks, and insurance companies. Large scale short covering in afternoon.

Once again, commodities moved together with stocks; sharp rallies in wheat and cotton in spite of news of good crops. Other commodities mixed.

Market observers see some hopeful signs: buying support is now coming out for stocks when they approach recent lows, and volume has been low in response to bear operations. Anticipate a possible quiet period rather than strong rally - this is typical of the end of bear markets.

Conservative observers warn clients against buying into the rally, advise those long the market to sell when market turns weak again. One experienced observer criticizes the excess of optimistic market talk, says market won't improve until fundamental business conditions do.

Central Trust of Illinois says economy seems to be recently improving from end of 1929 and first months of 1930. Employment and imports seem to be trending up recently. Union Trust of Cleveland also says the long-term outlook is improving and some indicators are pointing up. Philip Wagoner, president of Underwood (office equipment) is also seeing good month-to-month improvement.

First threatened boycotts of American goods in response to the tariff - Switzerland (cars), Argentina (all American products).

Economic news and individual company reports:

Major tin producers announce agreement to stop all production for two months, then restrict to 20% below 1929 levels.

Japanese silk industry suffering from large supply held in storage because of government support of producers. Price outlook poor.

Federal units for stabilizing grain and cotton prices announce they intend to keep their holdings of wheat and cotton off the market to support prices and avoid competition with farmers and cotton growers.

Coca Cola estimates earnings for second quarter $4.50M compared to $3.94M in 1929. Says depression is having little effect on operations. Trying to increase sales in foreign markets; export sales were up 32% in 1929 and 82% in 1928. Now sold in 76 countries, up from 30 in 1926.

Liquid Carbonic (soda fountains and carbon dioxide) earnings for 6 months ended March 31 were $0.85 vs. $0.82 in 1929. Business improved by increase in carbonated beverage consumption during Prohibition.


“Miss Screecher - 'Would you advise me to cultivate my voice?' Suffered - 'Yes, and please plant it deep.'”

+ The Boring Stuff:

President Hoover vetoes Veteran's relief bill as expected, repeating that it is unfair and wasteful, and would lead to a tax increase. House Republicans agree to sustain veto and pass substitute bill acceptable to Hoover.

Admiral Byrd addresses Bond Club concerning his Antarctic expedition, praises role of aviation in filming and mapping thousands of miles of territory, remarkable advances in aviation in past two years.

Census reports unemployed in April 574,647 or 2% of total population, in an area about a quarter of the country. Area is thought to be representative of the country as a whole; if accurate, this would give a much lower unemployment level than other current estimates.

Call rates [rates charged to brokers/dealers] dropped to 1.5% from 2%, attracting some buying to dividend stocks.

Foreign currencies generally slightly higher, pound at $4.86, Canadian dollar slightly below par.

Retail store employment in April 1930 was 388,424 compared to 387,034 in April 1929.

First 35 railways reporting results for May had earnings down 29.7% from 1929, revenue down 12.7%.

Erie Railroad has started high speed gas-electric locomotive operation; purchased 10 locomotive units capable of hauling 5 coaches at 65mph.

Dow Chemical earnings for year ended May 31 were $4.08/share vs. $3.53/share in 1929.

Hudson Motors estimates earnings for second quarter $0.50-$0.60/share compared to $3.79 in 1929.

Grand Union Stores sales in 24 weeks ended June 14 were $16.7M compared to $14.5M in 1929; store count is unchanged.

Anaconda Copper joins several other copper producers in cutting dividend by 50%. Copper prices have declined, but chairman says production is coming into line with consumption and inventories in consumer hands are very low, so copper prices should respond dramatically to business improvement.

E.F. Hutton notes that US Steel common is yielding almost as much as preferred, even though dividends are still well covered and the common has the possible upside of stock appreciation. Feels this situation is unlikely to continue.

No comments:

Post a Comment