Assorted historical stuff:
Movie business seems to be recovering after recent slump; decline in attendance attributed to heat wave (only 400 theaters in US are refrigerated), recent run of movies depending too much on “spectacle, color, and singing,” not enough on “good plots, interesting dialogue, and popular stars.” Upcoming movies include Moby Dick with John Barrymore, Common Clay, Dawn Patrol, The Big House, and Animal Crackers with the Marx Brothers. Most movie companies except Warner Bros. still expected to have good earnings for the year.
Actuarial Society of America survey reports death rate for passengers travelling on scheduled airlines is 1 in 5,000, or 200 times railroad death rate; safety increases by 63% after pilot has had 400 flight hours.
Commerce Dept. plans Southern “transcontinental airway” from Birmingham to San Diego. Airway from New York to Birmingham via Richmond already exists.
J. Richardson leading plan for comprehensive air and rail service across Canada. Canadian govt. may create Communications Dept. covering radio and aviation.
New wingless aircraft based on rotor principle being tested at Mamaroneck; backed by Walter P. Chrysler and H.E. Talbott, Jr.
London considering “fostering the acceptance of compulsory peaceful settlements of all disputes” for dominion countries.
New Australian plan for balancing budget coming under criticism for bias toward tax increases (including new 2.5% sales tax) rather than cuts in expenditures.
Iraqi King Feisal rumored trying to organize new oil company to break monopoly held by Iraq Petroleum Co. controlled by US and European oil interests.
NY State industrial deaths in July were 164, down 31 from June and down 52 from July 1929.
Bulls got some good economic news in Iron Age report of improvement in steel production. US Steel responded, rallying to highest levels since July top. Other major industrials including American Can and J.I. Case followed. Utilities rallied strongly. Sears, Paramount, and Loews stood out in other categories. Prices turned irregular in late afternoon; coppers and some oils weak on dividend concerns. Banks, trusts, and insurance strong. Bond market dull but broadly higher.
E. Woollen, Pres. Fletcher Savings & Trust, catalogs some of the follies recently committed by businessmen: thinking rate of business in early 1929 could last; thinking the depression was caused by the market crash (the crash came 4 months after the depression had inexorably started); thinking the depression was caused by bad psychology; thinking our economy independent of the rest of the worlds'; “mortgaging future income for luxuries.”
Baar, Cohen & Co. believe stocks headed higher, “and we think within a few days sufficient momentum will be generated on the bull side to start the advance in earnest.” Foresee general business improvement, even if only seasonal, and halt in commodity price decline.
J. Barringer, National Cash Register GM, optimistic on foreign sales, and on general business outlook in Europe. “Germany, in my belief, is recovering from the world-wide depression, and France seems to be entirely over it.” Believes US depression has hit bottom and “we are slowly but surely on the upward trend.”
Some disappointment reported by market observers and steel industry leaders that normal seasonal improvement in business hasn't developed yet.
Continued weakness in freight car loadings as of Aug. 9 is surprising, but may reflect some lag from factory openings; Aug. 16 should then show improvement.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Iron Age sees moderate improvement in steel trade, though definite turning point not yet reached. Steel ingot production at 53%, but improved in past few days; some indications of larger orders in September. Discrepancy with yesterday's report of decline explained by extra “day or so” included in Iron Age report.
Agriculture Dept. reports uneven weather conditions; much of country except West has had some relief from drought, but followup rain needed in many areas.
Bankruptcy cases pending as of June 30 were 61,430 vs. 59,113 in 1929. Liabilities in cases concluded were $948.3M vs. $883.6M in 1929.
Company reports since July 1: 137 companies reported increased earnings vs. 1929 and 341 decreased; 649 dividends unchanged, 3 increased, 41 cut.
Companies reporting decent earnings: Public Service NJ, Atlas Plywood.
Curtis Publishing (publishers of Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal) selling about 114, annual div. $6, first half earnings $5.07/share vs. $4.83 in 1929.
“Farmer's Wife (to druggist) - Now, be sure and write plain on them bottles which is for the horse and which is for my husband. I don't want nothin' to happen to that horse before the spring plowin'.”
+ The Boring Stuff: