Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: The cynical might dismiss the new Hoover unemployment efforts as just a continuation of last fall's business conferences, with their dubious results. However, the attitude now seems different. Last fall, there was much enthusiastic publicity and overconfidence; now, the committee is being discreet and seems to understand hard work is needed with local govts., and with corporation leaders not “as amenable to the presidential mandate” as last fall. A renewal of efforts to stimulate employment “by all safe means” and to help “those least able to withstand” the depression is worthy of unstinted support from business and government.
Vice Pres. Curtis and Pennsylvania Gov. Fisher endorse “buy now” campaign of Phila. Chamber of Commerce to help employment and trade.
US and Canada railroad labor unions plan campaign for 6 hour working day with no reduction in pay, estimate would put 50,000 unemployed men to work.
W. Edge, US Ambassador, says France “like an oasis surrounded by depression on all sides,” with unemployment practically nil; acknowledges differences with US on tariff, but “is this not always the case when two nations maintaining high protection barriers try to agree?”; says gold accumulation by France an internal matter.
“New type airplane, claimed to be safest yet constructed, tested in Berlin. Plane resembles duck in appearance and seems to be flying backwards when in motion.”
Dictaphone to introduce “Telecord” for recording phone conversations onto wax cylinders.
Austin Co. to erect factory building with several new design elements: for uniform lighting, building will have no windows or skylights but be ventilated artifically and lit by hundreds of 1000-watt lamps supplying ultraviolet rays; walls and ceiling will be noise-absorbent; machinery painted orange, and walls blue, green, and white.
Tiffany's, most famous jewelry store in the US, has no sign or other distinguishing mark on its Fifth Avenue storefront; strangers can only find it by its number (409).
Market wrap: Leading stocks “follow highly irregular course.” Market opened “as though the bottom was about to fall out” on bad rail and steel news. US Steel plunged to lowest level since 1928; many other stocks sank below previous 1930 support. Another bad break seemed in store, but pressure abruptly lifted by end of the first hour and action greatly improved. Rallying appeared in leading stocks, and some trading favorites were up sharply; disconcerted bears helped the movement along by covering shorts. Sentiment may also have been helped by stronger grain markets.Trading again turned highly uncertain in the final hour, with renewed selling in much of the list. Bonds more active, irregular but mostly weaker; South Amer. turn lower; US govts. firm; corp. weak.
In connection with the abrupt first hour market turnaround, “reports were heard that a sore spot in the market's internal position had been healed.”
Bear market is now worse than any in last 25 years; Dow is down 52% from Sept. 3, 1929 peak vs. 47% decline in 1921, 40% in 1917, and 45% in 1907.
Some traders say upcoming Congressional elections may be weighing on the market.
Extensive bargain hunting by small investors reported by leading brokers, with “outright purchases covering many sheets on the order books while selling transactions were confined to a few columns.” This was also reflected in steady gains in the stockholder counts for leading corporations.
A. Reynolds, Continental Ill. Bank & Trust Chair., sees “signs in a good many different directions that business is picking up somewhat”; gains are uneven, not general; “improvement ... will probably come in this spotted way and gradually work into a more general betterment,” probably starting with small businesses and moving to large. Commodity prices relatively stable since July, seem to have bottomed.
C. Sherrill, Kroger Grocery VP, says sales per store in Sept. were up vs. 1929 for the first time this year; since stores are largely located in drought areas and automotive industry centers, believes this reflects slight improvement in general US business.
H. Stephens of Oakland Motor Corp. blames depression partly on high pressure and unsound selling methods in a number of industries, leading to consumer over-indulgence; remedies are delivering good value to consumers and readjusting production to sales; auto industry is essential to recovery, employing 4.7M workers.
Economic news and individual company reports:
NY City banks showed decreased deposits on Sept. 14 vs. June 30, though many out of town banks showed increases; banks with highest deposits were Chase National $1.852B, National City $1.344B, and Guaranty Trust, $1.181B.
Steel ingot production for week ended last Monday was at 52% vs.55% prev.week and 56.5% two weeks ago; US Steel was at 58% vs. 60% and 61%.
Pennsylvania crude oil cut $.15/barrel to $2.40.
Judge D. Jenkins, presiding at the Bethlehem-Youngstown merger trial, asks for reopening of evidence to amplify testimony already given. Attorney for Eaton-Otis interests opposing the merger describes Bethlehem Steel methods as “ruthless, czarlike, brass-knuckle, throw 'em down and choke 'em.”
Total transatlantic passenger traffic east and west bound up to Oct. 17 was 1.139M people, down 43,379 from 1929. Third-class passengers increased.
“Into an apartment in the West Fifties place three chorus girls. Add one song-writer, one kindly 'benefactor' from Wall Street, and two debonair members of the underworld ... Sprinkle with wisecracks and boil briskly until you hear the pop of two revolvers ... and you will have Sisters of the Chorus, an appetizing dish of entertainment that will satisfy all but the most squeamish and overly cultivated artistic tastes.”
“A revivalist said to the congregation: 'There is a man among us who is flirting with another man's wife. Unless he puts $5 in the collection box, his name will be read from the pulpit.' When the collection box came in there were six $5 bills in it, and a $2 bill with a note pinned to it, saying: 'this is all the cash I have, but will send the other $3 Wednesday.'”
“Mrs. Highbrow - Does your son keep a diary while at college? Mrs. Putton-Ayres - Yes. He saves all his check stubs.”
+ The Boring Stuff: