Assorted historical stuff:
J.B. Holohan, warden of San Quentin prison of California, reports large increase in young prisoners since prohibition was enacted. Number of prisoners has increased from 3,800 three years ago to 4,932; most of increase is in men under 25 years old. Warden attributes recent increase in prison population countrywide to “a marked increase in the number of laws.”
Chile President approves prohibition law under which 6-time violaters will have pay docked 50% by employer and turned over to wife or family.
Editorial: J. Lonsdale, Pres. of bankers' association, says banking system held “firm, sound, and unmoved” during the market crash. The system did hold up well to the crisis, helping in many ways. Now, it may have a different duty. Bankers are naturally cautious and prefer “no” to “yes” - this was more than justified last year, but now some “yes”es may be called for; “If they feel that conditions are fundamentally sound, as they say they are, they have a duty to perform ... By constructive advice and concrete assistance they can do more to start wheels in motion and end unemployment than any arbitrary measures can do.”
Governors of drought-affected states to meet with Pres. Hoover at White House to consider relief measures; Hoover has gathered “complete data” on situation. Red Cross says ready for immediate relief work. Congressman LaGuardia (Rep., NY) calls for daily bulletins on vegetable prices entering NY to detect profiteering.
M. Insull, Pres. Middle West Utilities, calls utility holding companies essential for development of electric industry, says not necessary to regulate them since operating utility companies are already regulated; “the electric industry never wins a debate and its critics never produce a kilowatt of electricity.”
NY Stock Exchange to support new high-speed ticker system starting Sept. 2; will operate at 500 characters/minute vs. current 300.
Current bill at the Palace is a true “all-star variety program,” including George Jessel as headliner, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Burns and Allen, among others.
Bears continued aggressive operations early, following up on Tuesday's sharp declines. Some liquidation seen from margin accounts. Majors and trading favorites hit new lows for current reaction. Some resistance to bears developed through morning, although bears renewed attacks on news of decline in steel production to 52% from 54% a week ago. However, a vigorous rally developed in final hour on strengthened “technical conditions” and possibly overcrowded short positions, with sharp rebounds in US Steel, American Can, J.I. Case, and leading rails; rally spread across general market. Bonds dull, steady; corp. slightly higher.
Dow last Tuesday was only 6 points above June 24 low, causing pessimism among traders and making further bear attempts at that level likely. Next week's action considered indicator of business sentiment; if businessmen foresee improvement, should be willing to support their own shares around June lows.
General market was irregular; many stocks closed with losses or small gains. Market made 3 new yearly highs and 61 new lows.
One trader's opinion: “We still have hope, and if one has health what more can one expect these days?”
One broker points out that “refrigerated” floor of the stock exchange could make overcoats desirable on very low-volume days.
Some grumbling from holders of rail securities about “why they alone are selected from all industries to sell their product (transportation) to the drought affected territory at reduced prices.”
More attention to possible dividend cuts seen than ever before; businesses being analyzed carefully, many stocks have declined due to concern about cuts.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Dept. of Labor reports cost of living down 2.1% between June 1929 and 1930; down 23% between June 1920 and 1930.
French cabinet votes to cut 1931 budget by 6B francs to 51B, same as 1930; 48% of which is debt service.
British trade improved in July vs. June, still below 1929. Imports 85.2M pounds vs. 83.4M June and 93.6M in 1929; exports 50.7M vs. 42.9M and 65.5M.
Companies reporting decent earnings: Jersey Central Power & Light, US Gypsum, Weston Electrical Instrument.
General Foods says not considering any wage reductions, business running about normal.
Hudson Motor Car cuts car prices $65 to $300 to lowest prices ever of $650 to $1,295.
“Professor (in engineering class) - What's a dry dock?
Student - A physician who won't give out prescriptions.
[Note: I think this is some kind of prohibition reference.]
“'The margin clerk is after me again.'
'Go out to lunch and forget it.'
'He lunches at the same place that I do.'
'Well, go home or to Coney Island.'
' My hat is in his office.'
'Well, tell him to credit it to your margin account.'”
+ The Boring Stuff: