July 1, 2009

Wednesday, July 2, 1930: Dow 223.03 -3.31 (1.5%)

Assorted historical stuff:

NY Governor Roosevelt addresses the National Governor's Conference. Ventures the opinion that all governors should visit every state in the union before holding office; relays a remark by President Roosevelt [Theodore] to that effect regarding senators and congressmen.

Editorial skeptical of oil industry claims to have curtailed excess production. Coolidge formed the Oil Conservation Board six years ago to serve a resource vital to national defense and to "all industry and to private life as we live it." Notes that while production now matches refinery demand, stocks of gasoline in storage have risen dramatically over past year. Stricter measures may be necessary to ensure overproduction is ended.

France pleased with success of $350M German loan bond issue; product of years of diplomacy; feels it makes German obligations more secure by switching the creditors from foreign powers to “private citizens of all nationalities.”

Broadway theater operators will implement new plan July 21 to curb scalping by ticket brokers.

Bill Robinson [Bojangles], Harlem's greatest tap dancer, appearing in the Palace Theatre. Has been performing for 32 years. Famous for inventing new steps, such as the stair dance. So many performers are now imitating the stair dance that he's now doing his own imitation of himself doing it.

Philippine people have suffered unfortunate consequences from American high-power installment salesman. "One may now see, in or about $50 shacks, such things as $500 radios, $700 pianos, $200 phonographs, and even $1000 automobiles."

Market commentary:

Stocks continued rally in the morning but ran into resistance after reaching new highs in the first 3-4 hours. Bad news from Steel changed the general market direction. Bears renewed attacks - much of yesterday's rally attributed to short covering. Substantial short interest remains; bears expected to renew efforts after unfavorable second-quarter earning reports.

Airplane industry is having birth pains as the automotive industry did 25 years ago. However auto industry is now "one of the great pillars of prosperity;" it's having an off year, but production 25 years from now will be much greater than 1929. By that time the airplane industry may also reach maturity, with large employment and earnings.

Market decline has been worldwide, but an improvement in the US should spread. "Business all over the world in recent years has contracted a habit of moving in sympathy with the course of business in the United States. And there is good reason."

Many broker's letters say it's a good time to buy stocks as long-term investments, particularly quality rails, many of which are yielding 6%-7%.

Economic news and individual company reports:

U.S. Treasury surplus for fiscal year ended June 30 was $184M. Receipts were $4.178B vs. $4.033B in 1929; expenditures $3.994B vs. $3.848B in 1929. Public debt was reduced by $746M due to surplus and $554M of "sinking fund" operations charged to ordinary receipts. Original estimate of surplus before start of fiscal year was $225M; 1% tax cut last fall reduced this estimate to $145M.

Senate may direct the Secretary of Agriculture to investigate the multiyear decline in cotton prices. Resolution would budget $125,000 to investigate "the cause of the decline, the amount of short selling, and by whom."

California potential oil output estimated more than 1.1 million barrels daily; current production restricted to about 600,000 barrels, slightly over quota.

Car company shipments in June: Graham-Paige 3,190 vs. 5,989 in 1929; Reo 1,027 vs. 3,042; Buick 4,135 vs. 14,665.

Stock Market Jokes:

At a recent large corporation's stockholder meeting, the secretary was annoyed to find two men with no proxy forms. "Whom do you represent?" the secretary asked. "The short interest," the gentlemen replied.

"Many big operators who leave on vacation vowing not to look at a stock market quotation ... usually find what they are not looking for."

+ The Boring Stuff:

Editorial: the US will receive long-term German annuities totaling $755M to settle World War claims. Suggests the US could give up these claims to help with European reconstruction. This would not be charity, but a practical matter of helping our country's export markets.

French economy holding up well so far (index of industrial production 144 in April vs. 139 average for 1929, full employment). Public mood, however, is pessimistic, and stock market is down.

California population 5.642M, up 65% from 1920.

Returns on retail sales estimated at 7%-8% of sales or about $3B; returns on installment credit 12%, open credit 9.9%, cash sales 5.2%; highest returns on credit sales for musical instruments, over 15%.

Wheat, cotton up; other commodities dull, mostly down. Government and corporate bonds generally higher; sharp rally in Bolivian bonds following revolution.

Railroad freight car loadings for week ended June 21 were 920,859, down 149,015 from 1929, down 66,501 from 1928, and down 5,234 from the previous week.

Steel industry production for the past week was around 64% of capacity vs. 66% previous week, 93.5% a year ago, and 72% in 1929. Holiday shutdown may cause a reduction to 48% next week.

A large steel producer believes production may decline a little but 60% of capacity should be the bottom.

Total gasoline in storage at the end of May 54.046M barrels, vs. 54.435M end of April and 44.648 end of May 1929.

June commercial failures 2,026 down from 2,179 in May but up 15% over June 1929. Total liabilities, however, were $63.1M, highest of the year and double 1929 level.

Walter Chrysler reports Dodge acquisition and integration has gone well. Company now is positioned well at all price levels, has developed good cooperation with employees, and is financially strong enough to weather a severe depression.

United Fruit earnings for 6 months ended June 30 estimated at $10.1M vs. $9.3M previous year. Selling at 12.8 times 1929 earnings, yielding 4.5%.

Warner Bros. (movies) expected to earn $5.50/share in the year ended August 31 compared to $5.23 previous year.

Globe-Wernicke (office furniture) sales for year ended May 31 $6.4M vs. $5.8M previous year; earnings $7.26/share vs. $8.42. High backlog of orders into the summer and fall.

Utilities: North American Co. expects earnings for year ended June 30 slightly above 1929. Consol. Gas & Elec. of Baltimore reports earnings for year ended May 31 was $6.22/share vs. $5.83/share in 1929.

Kress (chain store) announces 50 cent special preferred stock dividend; sales for five months ending May were $25.1 million up 5% from 1929.

Montgomery Ward June sales up 9.2% over 1929.

Savage Arms (firearms) expects first half 1930 earnings to be below dividend requirement of $1.00, vs. $1.38 in 1929.

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