August 7, 2009

Friday, August 8, 1930: Dow 232.69 -1.69 (0.7%)

Assorted historical stuff:

Editorial: Germany, Britain, and the US are finding that “rationalization” (automation) “sets much labor free - free, that is, to hunt a job.” While some economists believe rationalization is in the long run good for labor, in the short run it creates overcapacity, reduced requirement for workers, and the need to keep volume production going because of high capital investment and overhead. However, this has been going on for a long time (Francis Walker described the problem 50 years ago), so history suggests the problem will work itself out.

National Retail Credit Assoc. maintains a card index of credit customers with over 60M “master cards,” filed in over 1,000 credit bureaus serving over 200,000 merchants. “Any one who buys even the smallest item on credit goes into the index.”

M. Woll, AFL VP, criticizes Ford's production of tractors in Ireland for import into US as unpatriotic.

Industry planning for regular trans-Atlantic Zeppelin service year-round; thought feasible, but $4M cost per ship probably would require government help. To be successful, service would probably need to be at least weekly, and be two days faster than steamship travel.

Queens Planning Commission hears from F. Lyon of Atlantic Suspended Monorail Corp. and G. Fish of Westinghouse, who testify that cost of constructing a suspended monorail would be far below cost of subway or elevated lines. Another meeting scheduled for early fall.

Welfare Council of NY estimates weekly expenses for young woman in NY City as $25/week ($8 rent, $10.50 food, $3.85 clothing, $1.25 carfare, $1.40 misc).

General Outdoor Advertising Co. ordered neon sign to advertise Hell's Angels movie; uses over a mile of neon tubing.

Margaret and Mary Gibbs lose decision to White Star Line; attempted to book single ticket on Majestic liner to Europe on grounds they are Siamese twins.

Market commentary:

Selloff continued most of yesterday's session; substantial declines in can shares (American and Continental), grain-carrying rails, US Steel; other major industrials also down. Professional buying developed as bottom of recent trading range approached; “experience operators were encouraged” by this support and “professional buying ... proceeded with increasing confidence” later in session, leading to improvement after noon. Investment grade bonds higher, particularly rails, govts. firm. Dow bond index at high for past two years.

Market resistance to declines below 230-240 trading range over the past 3 weeks taken as encouraging sign, pointing to “thoroughly liquidated” market.

“Low inventories, cheap money, much cash in the banks and savings institutions, and the optimistic spirit of the American people are all factors which must work to the advantage of the bulls as time goes on.”

Conservative observers note market has been in 11-point trading range since July 18, continue to advise staying on sidelines until market breaks out of range.

E.A. Shumaker, Pres. RCA-Victor, calls for optimism on business: “Overproduction has been absorbed and the ball of enlarged business opportunities will start rolling shortly.” Says plans to run their own plant “at capacity until it is proven that we are wrong.” Also predicts television soon, describes new combination radio-phonograph-microphone set allowing owners to record radio broadcasts or their own voices.

Economic news and individual company reports:

July US auto output 275,298 cars and trucks vs. 350,565 in June and 518,301 in July 1929; first 7 months 2.606M vs. 3.931 in 1929.

T. O'Connor, Chair of US Shipping Board, warns shippers to stop “destructive rate cutting” endangering industry, says if current “deplorable situation” doesn't improve, industry may be placed under regulation of the Interstate Commerce Act.

Miami joins 45 other Florida municipalities in default on bonds, including St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Sarasota. Florida credit has declined so far that no municipal bonds have active markets. Problems include real estate bust starting in 1925, subsequent hurricanes, Mediterranean fruit fly invasion of 1929, and bank failures over past 2 years.

Companies reporting decent earnings: Pullman (passenger rail cars), American & Foreign Power, Interstate Dept. Stores, Western Auto Supply.

GM and Ford combined for 75.4% of new US auto registrations in first half.

Upcoming movie news:

“In line with its recently announced policy of encouraging the new generation of American writers, Warner Bros. has purchased The Devil Was Sick, described as 'a naughty farce,' by Jane Hinton. The play, which is Miss Hinton's first, will be produced first on the talking screen and later on the legitimate stage.”

+ The Boring Stuff:

Republican Natl. Committee member R.B. Greager announces President Hoover plans to run for reelection in 1932.

Editorial: Unlike the exaggerated farm “emergency” of last fall, drought has now caused a real emergency that the Farm Board and other government agencies are justified in using strong measures to counter. They should cut red tape, help move food into shortage areas, and livestock where they can be fed. Also justified are special credits and lower rail rates to help farmers harvest surviving crops, though we should keep an eye out for those taking “unfair advantage.” This emergency finally “gives the [Farm] Board something better to do than artificial price-fixing.”

Number of licensed aircraft June 30 was 9,773; there were 13,041 licensed pilots and 8,843 mechanics.

US Dept. of Agriculture to provide hourly weather reports by teletype on 8,000 miles of airway routes.

Eastern Air Transport to start daily New York-Richmond line, also serving Newark, Philadelphia, Camden, Baltimore, and Washington. To use Ford tri-motor planes powered by Wright Whirlwind engines, equipped with Gyro Horizon and automatic pilot by Sperry Gyroscope Co.

NY City Mayor Walker's transit advisors conferring on unification of Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT) co. with new city subway; to discuss value to be assigned BMT company “based on different theories of valuation.”

Grains continued up on high volume, though some selling resistance developed and closing prices were well below day highs. Cotton up. Corn now up about 50% in past month, wheat about 15% Some traders have apparently switched from stocks to commodities due to recent reports of drought damage.

Standard American Corp. predicts rise in market on technical grounds: “A restricted volume of trading, accompanied by a moderate but definite rising tendency, is usually the forerunner of a market advance;” further encouraged by reduced volume on declines; sees possibility of “buoyant tendency of considerable vitality” if general business improvement joins with the strong technical foundation.

Trade reports obtained by Wall Street houses are mixed; sentiment is reported optimistic because of production cuts and hand-to-mouth buying leading to low inventories, but some disappointment because “definite signs of recovery predicted for the end of July have not yet appeared.”

Brokers' loans down $14M in week to $3.214M.

US exports of industrial machinery for first half were $132.1M, up $6.3M over 1929.

Farm Board offers to arrange loans to farmers to buy feed from surplus held by Grain Stabilization Corp. Agriculture Sec. Hyde urges farmers to avoid panic dumping of livestock on the market. Railways pledge cooperation. Anticipated that much of the grain surplus can be disposed of.

Cuban sugar producers organize committee to study world sugar problem; say they are willing to cooperate with world sugar producers to stabilize prices.

Rubber, copper companies suffering from low prices; one large rubber co. rumored near bankruptcy; some higher cost copper producers suspending operations.

July rail locomotive shipments were 56 vs. 81 in June and 69 in July 1929.

Highest paid of building trades was bricklayer, avg. wage $1.65/hour; average of 17 trades was $1.185/hour.

F.W. Woolworth selling for about 16 times 1929 earnings, yield about 4%.

1 comment:

  1. Also predicts television soon, describes new combination radio-phonograph-microphone set allowing owners to record radio broadcasts or their own