July 7, 2009

Tuesday, July 8, 1930: Dow 218.33 -4.13 (1.9%)

Assorted historical stuff:

Hoover urges passage of London Naval Treaty, accuses opponents of misinformation. "We must naturally expect opposition from those groups who believe in unrestricted military strength as an objective of the American nation."

Suspension bridge to be built across San Francisco Bay at cost of $30M.

US car accident deaths in 1929 hit a new high of 33,060, including 81 on Independence Day.

John D. Rockefeller celebrates 91st birthday. Plans to breakfast, work for about an hour, then play nine holes of golf with a few neighbors. After lunch and rest, plans usual afternoon drive through Westchester hills. "I am in the best of health, surrounded by dear friends and have naught but good will toward all."

S.P. Gilbert, supervisor of German reparation payments, issues final report critical of German finances. Says that while tax revenues have gone up satisfactorily, expenditures have ballooned out of control. In spite of this acknowledges Germany has restored its credit and reconstructed the economy, and is confident they can get things in order. German reaction mixed; admits some of the criticism is valid, but tactless since reparation-related supervision of German economy is now ended.

Chilean government forming council to study nationalization of "all public services, industry, commerce, banking, and other fields of business."

Market commentary:

Market opened with many sell orders, prices declining through the morning with higher volume than last week. Attributed to bad business news (lower freight loadings, increase in business failures, Chrysler salary cut), anticipated bad second-quarter earnings reports, and lower commodity prices. Some buying appeared and declines slowed in afternoon on lower volume.

Commodities generally lower, wheat and cotton sharply down. Index of commodity prices at lowest point in 15 years. Bonds generally steady.

Survey of 163 sales and tech representatives for cement unit of US Steel. On construction prospects for next year, 124 said better/no change, 39 worse. On employment, 35 better/53 worse/72 no change. On tariff passage, 28 pleased, 18 resentful, 108 indifferent.

Winthrop, Mitchell believes market is in much better condition after recent liquidation, believes stocks "getting near rock bottom levels", would buy many major stocks on further selling. They may go a little lower, but not worth trying to pick a bottom: "The long pull prospect of large profits is too good to be concerned about 5 or 10 point dips, which later will be regarded as only minor setbacks in a major upturn."

National Association of Credit Men reports late May and early June collections held up well, less seasonal softness than usual. Regarding tariff, inclined to believe that "getting the tariff matter settled, even if the results are not satisfactory to everybody, will have a stabilizing and generally bracing effect on American business."

Many companies have been using accumulated surpluses to pay unearned dividends in the hope of business pickup.

Economic news and individual company reports:

NY State income tax collected $78M, only $2M below record 1929 level.

NY State Securities Bureau recovered $1.5M from bucket shops (fraudulent brokers) in first half of 1930. Money to be distributed to victims; total losses estimated $33M.

Freight car orders for first half were 30,443 vs. 59,129 in 1929; locomotive orders 289 vs. 521; passenger car 516 vs. 839.

Reynolds Metal expects operating profit for first half equal to 1929. Half of business is metal foil, used in many food-related and other industries (other half is temperature control devices). Sizeable portion of foil output is used to produce 300-400 million Eskimo Pie [ice cream] wrappers/year. Management diversifying, has come up with aluminum foil-based wallpaper. Hasn't caught on yet, but "nevertheless serves as an indication of the progressiveness of management."


"First Executive - Did you enjoy your vacation. Second -- Yeh, but there's nothing like the feeling of a good desk under your feet again."

+ The Boring Stuff:

China considering adoption of gold standard [currency is now backed by silver, which has declined along with other commodities]. Embargo announced on shipments of gold out of China; number of gold bars in Shanghai has decreased from 30,000 five months ago to only a few at present. Some concern that Chinese gold standard might cause world shortage of gold, with resulting deflation in gold standard countries.

Editorial pointing to Brazil considering destruction of 4.5 million bags of coffee to reduce unmanageable surplus. US plan for agricultural commodities is similar to Brazil's and can be expected to lead to similar result. Current plan has resulted an accumulation of large surplus at higher than current prices; now plan is to restrict production, but both approaches likely to lead to the Brazilian conundrum. "Wealth does not lie in producing commodities and then destroying them."

Cost of running Federal prisons was $8.2M in 1930 fiscal year compared to $3.4M in 1925.

Number of foreign students at Columbia - 899; NYU - 786; University of California - 651; USC - 452. West Coast foreign students are mainly Asian.

Canadian employment index June 1 was 116.5 vs. 111.4 in May and 122.2 in 1929. Best showing of any June 1 except 1929. Canadian Bank of Commerce expects summer business upturn. Strength in tourism, mining, wheat.

Big drop in brokers' loans seen as passing of stocks from weak hands (marginal traders) to strong (investors). Many brokers believe last week was year's low for stocks.

Hearst Consolidated Publications having public offering. Company to own 11 publications with total paid daily circulation of 2,563,426, board headed by William R. Hearst. 20% of stock in the offering is reserved for employees and officers.

New York Air Brake (rail equipment) first-half earnings expected $1.80/share vs. $2.14 for 1929. Second half expected worse.

Chrysler car shipments in June 28,407, 33% below 1929. May shipments were 40,644.

Willys-Overland produced about 58,000 cars in first half of 1930 vs. about 200,000 in 1929.

Corn Products Refining earnings for first-half expected about $2.25/share vs. $2.36/share in 1929.

Federal Bake Shops first half sales $2.26M vs. $2.19M in 1929.

American Ice expects June income above 1929 level.

W.T. Grant (chain store) reports June sales up 1.7% over 1929; 6 month sales up 11.6%. Kresge down 9.3% for June, down 0.3% for 6M.

1 comment:

  1. WSJ, 7/8/2009:

    U.S.-Russian Summit Ends With Mixed Results:
    Though Mr. Putin is widely considered the dominant partner in Russia's ruling tandem, Mr. Obama has recently highlighted his common views with Mr. Medvedev, a longtime Putin aide who has cast himself as a progressive, modernizing president. Last week, Mr. Obama criticized Mr. Putin, saying he has "one foot in the old ways of doing business."

    But after Tuesday's meeting with the former KGB agent, Mr. Obama emerged "convinced the prime minister is a man of today and he's got his eyes firmly on the future," said a senior U.S. administration official who attended the three-course breakfast at Mr. Putin's residence.

    Oil Speculators Under Fire:
    U.S. Weighs More Trading Regulations as U.K., France Seek International Action:
    Policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic launched an effort to crack down on what they called speculation in oil markets, underscoring concerns that a sharp rise in oil prices could worsen the global economic downturn.

    Stocks edned narrowly mixed as a new earnings season approached and crude-oil prices continued to fall.

    IMF Boosts 2010 Economic Outlook: Pointing to renewed signs that the global slump is bottoming out, the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday upgraded its outlook for 2010 while slightly trimming this year's forecast.
    The overleveraged global financial system continues to cast a shadow over the economic outlook, however, and the fund urged policymakers not to become complacent about recent market improvements.

    Big Banks Don't Want California's IOUs: A group of the biggest U.S. banks said they would stop accepting California's IOUs on Friday, adding pressure on the state to close its $26.3 billion annual budget gap.