Assorted historical stuff:
Treasury Sec. Mellon gives first radio address of election campaign. Says current depression mainly caused not by stock speculation but by worldwide overproduction of commodities. Uncertain how long readjustment will take, but can be certain US will be among the first to recover. Govt. has kept its house in order and held itself ready for unexpected emergencies, including the depression; “The scope of governmental activities was necessarily limited, but within those limits the President acted with decision and courage.”
British PM MacDonald states if US used same system as English in figuring unemployment, they would show unemployed of 10M-12M.
Editorial: An analysis by Banker's Monthly finds that of the many small bank failures in the past 9 years, a large portion happened due to the communities themselves “melting away” rather than bad banking. Nonetheless, speculation in real estate and other unsound practices were also large factors. It's a good thing this dead wood was cleared away before the current depression; “one of the reassuring aspects of the situation today is the stable banking position.”
R. Kelley attempts to resign from Interior Dept., but is instead fired by Interior Sec. Wilbur.
Western rail execs submit statement to ICC saying revenue situation is now “sufficiently serious to menace the maintenance of adequate transportation facilities.”
Calif. State Dept. of Public Works announces will use no mechanical devices at four construction camps in order to provide work for more men.
Federal Tariff Commission begins new streamlined process of tariff review set up by Smoot-Hawley law by considering protest of high duty on straw hats.
Russians are exhibiting weapons captured from the Chinese in fighting on the Manchuria-Siberia border last fall; these include many weapons of medieval type including “arquebuses, culverines, lances, falchions, and missile throwers.”
Inventor has created fireproof paper money that will not tear or wear out; produced by spraying paper pulp with minute particles of tin, copper, and aluminum.
Tonawanda, NY merchants agree to sell their goods at costs from Nov. 6 - Nov. 8 as their contribution to drive against business depression.
Market wrap: Market showed some steadiness in the face of multiple pieces of bad business news, including declines in steel operations and rail freight, and failure of US Steel to declare rumored extra dividend. US Steel opened sharply lower and continued to decline, while substantial liquidation came into rest of the market. However, volume declined as prices were lower and trading settled into a very narrow range in midday. Volume continued low in afternoon, but tone improved. Some further weakness in the final hour as Bethlehem Steel broke on prospect of poor earnings report after the close. Bond market moderately active; investment grade corp. firm, rails strong; South American govts. rally, other foreign govts. firm; US govts. dull, up slightly and near year's highs.
In spite of recently declining operating income, US Steel is still expected to earn about $10/share in 1930 (first 9 months was $8.44), comfortably above dividend.
Some rumors of recent market support by “interests that desire to see the market display a firm tone” until after the election Tuesday.
As in the past, some tax-loss selling in the year's final two months is expected.
Continued sizeable short covering reported during the session.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Car makers seen likely to lower prices for 1931 models, with one of the largest low-price manufacturers already having decided on a lower price list. In the past year, lower-priced manufacturers including Ford and Chevrolet have done better.
US Steel ingot production for week ended last Monday was at 55% vs. 58% previous week and 82% in 1929; independents were at 47% vs. 49% and 77%.
Weekly reviews for iron and steel industry find unpromising picture: cautious sentiment, slight drops in finished steel prices, and significant weakness in scrap prices. There was some hope ingot production was at the low point for the year.
Electric output by US light and power industry for week ended Oct. 25 was 1,725 GWHr vs. 1,710 in prev. week and 1,799 in 1929.
US new car registrations in Sept. were 175,286 vs. 203,737 in Aug. and 304,452 in Sept. 1929; first 9 months were 2.287M vs. 3.269M.
Previously reported drop of 21.4% in freight loadings for week ended Oct. 18 was largest percentage drop this year, contrary to expected improved trend.
Bethlehem - Youngstown merger trial continues; F. Wood, attorney for Bethlehem, currently in fifth day of his closing argument. Since several other attorneys for either side have yet to present arguments it's considered unlikely arguments will conclude before Nov. 6.
Eastman Kodak was weak on reports of wage cuts and layoffs; co. stated that while hours had been cut back for some workers due to curtailed output in some lines, co. was carrying out an extensive construction program and employing 25,000 workers, 1,000 more than last year.
“Dr. Bottle - How is your patient doing since his operation? Dr. Knife - Fine; I think he can afford another before the year is out.”
“'Why is he so sad?' 'Didn't you know he had gone bankrupt?' 'Yes, but I didn't know he had lost money over it.'”
The Noble Experiment - “Almost the entire array of racketeers is present, including bootleggers, gamblers, gangsters, dope-peddlers, hijackers, prostitutes, and corrupt sheriffs and judges, yet they are all unbelievable and at best only laughable caricatures.” Protagonists final words: “When you see my people in Europe, tell them I died in a country where the people have bathtubs for their bodies but none for their souls!”
+ The Boring Stuff: