July 24, 2009

Friday, July 25, 1930: Dow 235.51 -3.82 (1.6%)

Assorted historical stuff:

Editorial: Dismisses threat of Soviet dumping of wheat, coal, etc., says they should be allowed to “buy American machinery, hire American brains, and use American banking credit” to build industry; since rest of world is trading with them, “Our refusal ... will merely transfer her commercial relations to other countries.”

Ultraviolet rays demonstrated to cause cucumber and tomato plants to grow a third faster than usual. X-rays, however, found to retard growth.

New York construction sites tend to attract crowds. "Just any old depression in the ground holding a couple of workmen is enough to attract a four-deep crowd." Part of the crowd thought to be idlers, but many may be investors studying the operations of some of our best corporations such as Consolidated Gas and AT&T.

European auto manufacturers to meet July 31 in Paris to discuss plan for curtailing sales of American cars in Europe.

Chinese Ministry of Communication in negotiations with RCA to establish radio-telephone service between US and China.

England starts "Eat More Fruit" campaign involving posters, newspaper and magazine ads, and talks in schools.

David Belasco says public tiring of talkies, predicts return to silent films, also revival of "legitimate stage."

James Eads How, hobo's friend, passes away; leaves almost $1M to "workers of the world," $5 each to brother and stepson.

Market commentary:

Main trading stocks declined; volume substantially lower. Bullish sentiment dampened by business news (further auto production cuts and no upturn in rail traffic) and technically by Dow recovery close to 240 peak of current rally. Bears tried to capitalize by pressuring particular sectors, although trading favorites continued up in the morning. Markets turned generally down in afternoon; large declines in recent leaders on falling volume. Utilities, oils, dull. Banks and trusts lower.

Goodbody & Co. prepare list of 20 recommended stocks; "Out of financial panics and subsequent business depressions fortunes are made." Such opportunities occur few times in the average life; most successful strategy is not to try and pick the bottom but to buy below normal "as measured by price-earnings ratios, potentialities, yields, etc."

Union Trust of Cleveland sees improving business sentiment, upturn starting soon. Positives include production generally below consumption, ample purchasing power as seen in bank deposits, strength in construction and public works, and easy credit. Cautions that recovery may not be quick and easy, but rather gradual over some months.

US Steel diversifying (buying Atlas Portland Cement and Oil Well Supply Co.); other large corporations such as Anaconda Copper also doing so.

Consensus that business will improve seasonally in fall, but while optimists expect improvement to continue through winter, conservative authorities expect another slowdown in winter, and sustained upturn not until spring of 1931, and therefore continue to advise selling stocks on rallies and waiting for breaks to buy.

Reported industrial earnings so far have been considerably better than expected.

Economic news and individual company reports:

Fed. Reserve Board report for June: Industrial production and employment down more than usual seasonal amount; prices down sharply; interest rates continued down; large volume of building contract awards. Freight car loadings continued well below 1929 and 1928 levels.

May US imports $249M vs $400M in 1929; exports $320M vs. $385M.

US Cigarette production for first half was 59.4B, up from 58.5B in 1929.

Cement shipments for first five months were 51.343M barrels vs. 51.299M in 1929.

US electric output for week ending July 19 was 1,632 GWHr, down 3.3% from 1929.

Miami bondholders asked to exchange $1.582M of maturing bonds for new ones after “New York bankers” unwilling to help refinance.

US Steel Q2 net estimated about $3/share vs. $3.44 in Q1 and $6.68 in Q2 1929; likely to do better than most other steel companies.

RKO (movies) Q2 net expected better than 1929 but not as good a gain as Q1; theater attendance slumped in Q2 but reported better in July.


"A man was confronted in a dark London alley by a desperate fellow. 'Hand over your money or I'll blow your brains out,' was the demand. 'Blow away,' was the calm reply. 'You can live in London without brains, but you must have money.'"

+ The Boring Stuff:

Wheat unchanged; cotton down sharply to new season lows for most future months. Metals little changed. Bonds generally higher.

First half NYSE new listings: total $5.431B vs. $8.056B in 1929, but second highest on record; bonds $1.419B vs. $1.134B; stocks $4.012B vs. $6.922B.

Brokers' loans in past week down $17M to $3.226B.

Collins & Aikman doing well in spite of large automotive business; new type of pile fabric for upholstery is being widely adopted. Has also developed new type of rubber backed carpet that can be undetectably patched; large sales expected to hotels, steamships, and theaters.

IBM announces South American orders in first half running 67% ahead of 1929.

GM seen in strong position considering depression; profits have held up relatively well, and balance sheet is in good shape, particularly inventories.

National Cash Register estimates second-quarter earnings will be about $.60/share vs. $1.63 in 1929, cuts all wages 10%.

US Industrial Alcohol first half net $1.47/share vs. $5.30 in 1929.

National Supply (pipeline and oil field equipment) Q2 net estimated $2.95/share vs. $0.40 in Q1 and $2.11 in 1929.

Island Creek Coal first-half net $1.73/share vs. $2.33 in 1929.

Prairie Pipe Line first-half net $2.60/share vs. $2.71 in 1929.

Transcontinental Oil first half profit before taxes $2.363M vs. $1.716M in 1929.

International Silver Q2 net loss $154,664 vs. net profit $168,148 in Q1 and $383,622 in Q2 of 1929.

Hupp Motor Q2 net $509,053 vs. $2.831,382 in 1929.

Motor Wheel Corp. Q2 net $0.43/share vs. $0.72 in Q1 and $1.94 in Q2 1929.

Fedders Mfg. first half net $2.66/share vs. $5.28 in 1929.

Briggs Mfg. (auto parts) first half net $1.76/share vs. $1.21 in 1929.Supplier to low-priced auto companies inluding Ford, Packard, Chrysler.

United Piece Dye Works first half net $1.85/share vs. $1.88 in 1929.

City Ice & Fuel first half net $3.202M vs. $2.982M in 1929.

Briggs & Stratton first half net $2.07/share vs. $2.70 in 1929.

National Biscuit Q2 net $1.48/share vs. $1.50 in 1929.

Abbott Labs first half net $2.12/share vs. $1.96 in 1929.

Endicott-Johnson (shoes) net for 6 months ending July 5 was $2.12/share vs. $0.16 in 1929.

I. Miller (chain store, shoes) earnings for first 4 months $292,733 vs. $275,097; sales $5.002M vs. $4.491M in 1929.

Spiegel, May, Stern (mail order) first-half net loss $784,146 vs. profit of $730,298 in 1929.

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