Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: Recent events in Europe suggest “political skies there may soon be perceptibly brighter,” particularly Chancellor Bruening's success in persuading the Reichstag to reject all motions by extremist parties to modify reparations. Even Mussolini's recent speech celebrating the eighth anniversary of the march on Rome “seemed to reveal some appreciation of the risks inherent in unrelieved swashbuckling.” A less pleasing aspect of Mussolini's speech was his bid for German and Austrian support in undoing the Versailles Treaty; however, German reaction indicates they're increasingly recognizing “that their relations with France ... are the key to both political and economic improvement on the continent.” Much depends on Berlin continuing to resist “temptation to play upon the relations between France and Italy”; if the current govt. stays the course, “little need be feared from either the periodic fireworks from Rome or the obviously unsettled reparations settlement.”
Colombia reportedly has suffered less political unrest due to Colombian coffee prices not declining as much general coffee prices.
Average height in Japan has been increasing; doctors attribute this to “athletics, more open air living, and better diet and sanitary conditions.” As one result, the Tokyo police force has increased the minimum height one inch to 5 feet, 2 inches.
An interesting new use for old rail cars and locomotives has been discovered by an enterprising Midwestern showman: taking the old equipment and staging sensational train wrecks, to which he charges $1 a head admission. The first show netted over $16,000.
Town of Hickman, Ill., consisting of store, post office, house, and two smaller buildings, auctioned off for $1,053; buyer will move buildings and use as corn land.
Market wrap: Market unsettled in short Saturday session. Some stocks heavily pressured, including AT&T and specialties such as Gillette, Fox Film A, Warner Bros., and Auburn Auto; some weakness in other leaders including Allied Chemical and American Can. Bulls cautious on signs “liquidation had not been fully completed,” and main body of stocks was under pressure most of the session, though trading was light. Moderate improvement developed throughout the list toward the close, with particularly brisk recoveries in Bethlehem and US Steel. Bond market more active on reinvestment demand, prices generally steady; US govts. firm.
Week in review: Stocks declined extensively on weak business news and election jitters; a particular low point was Bethlehem Pres. Grace's pessimistic statements; many leading stocks hit new bear market lows. Money remains extremely easy, and brokers' loans continued sharp decline; banks continued heavy purchases of securities, with investments now at record levels. Grain prices eased off, while cotton lost part of an early week rally. Oil and steel prices declined. Main feature in bond market was strength of foreign govts., particularly Brazil on reassuring statements by revolutionary govt., and Germany; US govts. lightly traded, strong; domestic corp. irregular: highest grade rails firm, utilities steady, industrials and lower-grade weaker.
K. Hogate, Dow Jones & Co. GM, reports recently improved sentiment in East although as yet no signs of generally improved business. “The feeling exists in important places that the depression has gone far enough, and it has been decided that no more important houses are to be allowed to fail, provided they are meritorious, so that several sore spots have been healed. ... The one thing that is necessary to revive business is shortage. That is the one 'panacea' that has always worked us out of depressions in the past. We now have actually reached a point of shortage ...”; this should be felt in retail business first, as is apparently happening. Revival of business has so far been postponed because “most individuals went into the current depression better supplied than in any previous depression. ... There may be nothing sensational in immediate prospect, but ... we are, I believe, definitely beyond the really disheartening phase.”
National City Bank Nov. circular says there's little doubt depression is now scraping bottom; sees several signs of improvement; while timing of general recovery is impossible to predict, believes “next important movement will be upward.” Positive factors include impressive gains in industrial efficiency, recent stability in commodity prices, and improvement in textile and lumber industries.
GM earnings considered encouraging; Q3 net of $0.53/share was slightly above most optimistic estimates, and company now expected to comfortably cover year's $3 dividend requirement in spite of “great business unsettlement.”
Economic news and individual company reports:
Bureau of Securities charges Prince & Whitely with taking $2M-$3M from Prince & Whitely Trading Corp. and falsifying books to show loan had been repaid, and with using stock supposedly bought for the Trading Corp. for its own brokerage business.
Fed. Reserve Oct. review notes usual peak period for credit demands passed with only slight, temporary tightening in money market; banks continue to increase holdings of investments; bank positions considered strong, with little Fed borrowings and many having surplus funds seeking profitable employment. Savings banks showed unusually large increases vs. 1929; Oct 10 deposits were up 6.4% year over year vs. a 2.7% increase in 1929 and an avg 5.5% increase in prev. 4 years.
BLS reports cigarette production in year ended June 30 was 119.9B, up 150% from 1920 and 3,600% from 1900. Avg. hourly earnings for workers in the industry were 37.8 cents for males and 26.8 cents for females.
Ford Motor Co. says saves $4M - $5M annually by salvaging old materials including used lumber, waste paper, glass, rubber, etc.
Technicolor operations reportedly down to about 50% due to lower motion picture business; 1930 earnings will be about $2/share, well below earlier estimates.
“'Your silver wedding anniversary, is it? Congratulations, old boy.' 'Yes, that's the first twenty-five years of it over.'”
“Foreman - Well, everything is all right? Night Watchman - Yes, I haven't done so bad for the first night. I've checked off everything, and there's only one thing missing - the steam roller.”
+ The Boring Stuff: