August 8, 2009

Saturday, August 9, 1930: Dow 222.82 -9.87 (4.2%)

Assorted historical stuff:

Entertaining description of S. Langley aircraft attempt at flight by Joe Cannon [I assume a Republican]: “It starts off with a mighty whang ... it bobs about hysterically, it whets you into expecting a lot, seems right on the edge of soaring into the empyrean; it puffs and blares - and bunks. It ought to hobble over here to the capitol and sign up with the Democratic Party.”

NY Life Insurance Co. reports heart disease has increased from causing 13% of deaths in 1920 to 17% in 1929; based on US and Canada policyholder, considered a reliable cross-section of population. Death from all circulatory disease including heart, arteries, and kidneys, was 31%, top cause of death.

Census Bureau reports US population as of April 1 was 122.698M, up from 107.509M in 1920. All states but Montana have increase, highest increases are California 65.5% to 5.672M, Florida 51.4% to 1.467M. New York up 21.5% to 12.620M

Commercial Trust Co. of Kansas City says will not employ married women due to unemployment situation.

D. MacMurphy, VP Middle West Utilities Co., calls newspapers the main advertising medium, billboards, direct mail, radio secondary. Unlike other media, newspapers don't force ads on the reader; therefore, “in the newspaper, an advertisement runs no risk of offense.” Also believes humans are visual animals; “possibly our ancestors became eye-minded in leaping from tree to tree,” where good eye-brain coordination was necessary.

Despite short history of aviation, airplane models are already being collected; several companies have been formed to produce them.

George Bernard Shaw to permit sound filming of one of his plays, says “the poor old theatre is done for.”

RKO contracts with G. Spoor for production of 3 films using his 3-dimensional process.

Sanitary single-use lipsticks now available, coming in a small matchbook-like container.

Reports that leading cigarette companies will introduce “matchless” cigarettes, to be lit by striking on side of box.

Market commentary:

Stock prices plunged on heavy volume; attributed to bad news from US Steel (production down to 61%), Warner Bros (omitting dividend), and worries about effect of drought on rail earnings and farm incomes. Volume increased as day progressed. Bears agressively attacked US Steel, successfully breaking last week's resistance level. Large declines in major shares including American Can, Westinghouse, GE, AT&T, Consolidated Gas, and in trading favorites including Vanadium, J.I. Case. Rails, utilities, banks and trusts particularly weak. Bond trading volume up; convertibles, preferreds, speculatives weak; investment and govts. steady.

Current market conditions viewed as contest between bull and bear professionals, with little public following to either side. “Leading observers” trying to keep customers out until stocks break their trading range to either side.

J. Barnes, Chamber of Commerce chair, says worldwide depression will “end upon a manifestation of revived confidence” which will unlock idle capital.

British Electrical & Allied Mfg. Assoc. sees “danger point” in world economic crisis in summer of 1931. Blames crisis on inability of gold standard to adapt to reparations and American debt settlements.

Old Timer: “The sun has always shone again after the clouds have passed; business has always gotten better after it has been poor and, last but not least, the stock market has always gone up again after it has had a decline.”

Economic news and individual company reports:

US Steel ingot production at 61% of capacity this week vs. 64% last week.and 97% in 1929. Drop was unexpected; production was anticipated to increase slowly over the next few weeks and more strongly in fall. Orders not yet apparent from resumed auto production.

Rubber now selling below 10 cents/pound, new low record, and about half average cost of production.

American tourists in Canada and Europe in 1928 left $818.6M in money spent abroad.

Companies reporting decent earnings: Foster Wheeler (engineering/power), American Ice, Commercial Investment Trust (CIT), Wheatsworth (biscuit), Bon Ami, General Refractories (industrial brick - generally replaced when business is slack).


Complaint of the three-times married man: “I knew ... that it was one of my wedding anniversaries, and to save getting bawled out bought a present. Well, if I was still married to my first wife it would have been all right.”

+ The Boring Stuff:

Editorial: Fed. Reserve seems determined to maintain easy money policy until business recovers; this may result in large gold exports. While we have an excess of gold and so can afford this, it still might not be a good idea. “A policy of maintaining easy money by artificial means is all very well up to a certain point, but to pursue it when gold is going out of the country presents another problem. ... The Federal Reserve will do well not to rush pell mell into a course [they might later regret].”

American Bar Assoc. calls for reform of Sherman antitrust act to allow smaller producers to cooperate without fear of prosecution; says law as currently enforced “foredooms the small producer to destruction.” Suggests empowering Federal Trade Commission to examine proposed group actions “in the light of day,” and, if found consistent with public interest, to immunize the group from prosecution, though legality of actions would still be decided by courts.

Number of strikers protesting new social insurance tax in northern France increases to 135,000.

Some unrest reported among central-eastern Europe farmers; fears of “peasant revolt” in Rumania; attributed to high debt, acute agricultural depression.

Manchester cotton trade more optimistic in spite of continued slow business; India expected to be forced to buy soon to replenish low stocks of cloth.

Corn, wheat down sharply; govt. forecast possible break in Midwest drought next week. Cotton down sharply to season lows on higher than expected govt. crop forecast of 14.362M bales, down 566,000 from last year.

Drought continues with little relief in Western states, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri. Some rain in Iowa, Nebraska. President Hoover said devoting almost all time to drought situation, calling meeting of governors from drought-stricken states for next Thursday. Still gathering information, no definite steps announced yet.

Survey of building industry finds general opinion that any business revival would quickly be reflected in the industry, due to comparatively long lull in residential building, together with thorough deflation of rents. Some oversupply remains in apartment housing, but not in individual homes.

July bonds, notes, and stock offered by domestic corporations were $396.6M vs. $468.9M in June and $867.1M in July 1929; lowest total this year.

Japanese trade surplus for first 7 months was 211M yen, down 50M yen from 1929.

Panama Canal tolls estimated down $1M in 1930 from $27M in 1929.

Cleveland employment down 4.3% in June; index 99.4 in July vs. 103.9 in June and 124.2 in July 1929; lowest index since Dec. 1927.

July building plans filed in Manhattan were $33.5M, gain of $1.85M over 1929; first month this year showing gain.

July awards for construction in northern Illinois including Chicago were $20.2M vs. $36.7M in June and $39.0M in July 1929.

Firestone Tire celebrates 30th anniversary; now employs 15,000 workers, capacity of 80,000 tires/day.

Continental Can stock about 56, earned $5.02/share in 1929, yield about 4.5%, sales in first half better than 1929.

1 comment:

  1. The investment came in a month after the company has announced to build a $500 million factory near West Virginia. This is the second unit, as the last one was built in 1971 in the United States. The names of the company brands are not disclosed as the company refuses to divulge the details about it. That facility will be completed in 2017, employing 1000 workers, and taking the 30 factories that procter and gamble possess in the North American country