Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: France's accumulation of gold is starting to “threaten the smooth workings of the world's reserve banking machinery,” although a previous episode in the 1870's turned out fortunately through sheer accident. This recalls the German maxim about trying to forecast the future: “It always comes out different.”
Southern California has become a tourist mecca; in 1929, 1.067M visited, spending $418.5M; as many as 1 in 10 stayed, with population of 10 Southern Calif. counties growing from 1.424M to 3.284M in the past 10 years.
Times are changing in Manhattan real estate. In the past 15 years many landlords did as little as possible for tenants; repairs were kept to bare necessities unless tenants paid, and “requests for redecorating were as often as not received with dignified silence.” Recently, a tenant requested a number of quite expensive jobs; the landlord's letter back concluded “Our decorator will be around in the near future to arrange for the work at your convenience.”
Judge G. Hahn of Cleveland rules against lawsuit to stop planes flying over property that was based on ancient Roman legal principle “whosoever controls land controls it from the center of the earth to the zenith”; decides effective possession of property only extends 500 feet up.
Berlin radio engineers build mammoth loudspeaker audible over a 25 mile diameter, plan to attach speaker to a balloon anchored 3,000 feet high to broadcast concert to the city. Loudspeaker creates airwaves that can be felt 150 feet away.
Market wrap: Saturday short session opened mixed, advanced moderately on low volume with activity concentrated in recent bear targets; short-covering was apparently active; majors including US Steel, GE, Westinghouse, American Can, GM showed strength. Late in the session a vigorous bear attack started in AT&T and spread to rails and other investment stocks; sharp drops in these spread to other sections and early gains were wiped out; market closed weak. Bond market moderately active; investment grade and US govt. firm; lower grade and speculative issues weak; German bonds mixed, other foreign govts. mostly firm.
Week in review: Dow at Tuesday's close was about 6 points from last Nov. panic low, dropping about 40 points in 3 weeks. Improvement in grain markets brought some optimism as week closed, and pressure lifted from stocks. Interest rates broke to lowest levels since war, though weekly bank reports showed encouraging increase in commercial loans and currency circulation. Steel prices mixed; rail figures weak. Bond market opinion generally gaining enthusiasm.
G. Verity, Pres. Amer. Rolling Mill Co.: “I think it is pretty well conceded that we have reached or passed the bottom of this depression and from now on can look to gradually improving business”; industry should be back to normal by end of Q1 1931; company business in Sept. up 25% over Aug.; Business recession has been costly, but cost will be recovered thanks to removal of “deadwood acquired in prosperous times.” Looks forward to tremendous prospects in all industries.
S. Archer, Pres. Archer-Daniels-Midland, says Sept. business largest of any month this year, inventories remain low; “with the more general feeling of optimism that is being manifested, we expect the holding off tendency which has been so pronounced to give way to more liberal buying from now on.”
AFL Pres. Green says worker's buying power key to prosperity. Suggests policies to combat depression including buying ahead, cutting overhead other than wages by modernizing equipment and cutting waste, improving product quality, and increasing advertising. Notes optimistic business signs but sees danger in increasing number of wage cuts.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Irving Fisher's index of 200 commodities for week ended Oct. 3 was 82.3 vs. 83.1 in previous week and 94.7 in 1929.
New car registrations for Aug. were 203,737 vs. 254,098 in July and 376,886 in Aug. 1929; first 8 months were 2.111M vs. 2.965M.
F.W. Dodge reports construction contracts awarded in 37 Eastern states during Sept. were $331.9M vs. $347.3M in August and $444.4M in Sept. 1929. First 9 months was $3.685B vs. $4.601B in 1929. Residential construction in Sept. was $98.5M, highest total since May.
Youngstown district steel operations down 1% this week to 53%; consumers said unwilling to book heavily due to mixed business and price picture.
US Ambassador W. Edge asks French Commerce Min. to rescind recent doubling of duty on US raw and refined lard.
Federal grand jury indicts six former employees of Manhattan Elec. Supply for manipulation of the stock; tactics included employing a group to send out letters, market sheets, and telegrams to the public, and paying money to brokers in return for advising customers and the public to buy the stock.
Cecille B. DeMille's Madame Satan: Theme is “the eternal triangle.” Bob Brooks is dissatisfied with his marriage and turns to a pretty vaudeville singer. His wife Trixie decides to win him back; masquerading as Madam Satan, she walks into a masked ball aboard a Zeppelin “singing a vigorous song of defiance and woos her husband away from the temptress.” Meanwhile, lightning strikes the Zeppelin and “all the characters are sent hurtling through the air in parachutes.”
+ The Boring Stuff: