John. D. Rockefeller, Jr. returns from two-month European tour; says although one can't disregard the grave problems facing the world today, or know what the remedy will be, “I believe that they can and will be solved ultimately. We, as a nation here in America, never had more to be thankful for than we have today.”
Failure of Albert Oustric ends history of “France's big post-war speculator.” Final extent of losses uncertain; forced liquidation by members of the Oustric “group” of cos. has caused general market decline, even in concerns having no business relations. “At bottom the situation is sound,” but failure has been a shock to public confidence. Oustric was said to have previously been rescued by the Bank of France in 1929, but apparently was refused aid this time.
French Premier Tardieu narrowly wins confidence vote during debate on bank failures; three officials who were clients of failed Oustric bank resign. Tardieu consents to Parliamentary investigation after assurances it “would not be judicial in nature.” A. Oustric and P. Bloch arrested and imprisoned on fraud charges.
Goodyear builds largest structure in the world without interior supports to house the two “super-zeppelins” (ZRS-4 and ZRS-5) being built for the Navy; dimensions are 1,175 feet long by 325 feet wide by 211 feet high.
Committee on revising NY building code proposes changes to make 100-story buildings more practical, including increasing limit on elevator speed from 700 feet/minute to 1,200 feet/minute, and operating two independent elevator cars in the same shaft.
Original telephone invented by Bell had 52 parts; today's has 201.
Northwest Airways has bargain fare of $35 round trip between Chicago and Twin Cities; plans to install radios in all its planes.
Charles Millar, “eccentric lawyer and sportsman” of Toronto, left a half million dollars to the Canadian woman to have the largest number of children by 1936. Currently leading is Florence Brown, 42, who claims to have borne 26 children in the past 22 years; second is Grace Bagnato, 37, who just gave birth to her 20th.
Market wrap: Reactionary trend from pre-holiday trading became more pronounced; volume was down due to many traders taking a long weekend, but considerable selling took place and stocks moved down most of the session. Traders were generally bearish due to failure of stocks to hold recent gains, as well as lower steel production and rail freight traffic. Rails were particularly weak following rail executives' request for legislative relief. Major industrials were “in steady supply” while retail and mail order shares “lost their recent buoyancy.” Pressure lightened in final hour on short covering, with a slight recovery on lower volume. Bond market moderately active, generally lower; US govts. remain firm; foreign govts. weak; corp. weak with many hitting new yearly lows.
While rail executives painted a bleak industry picture in asking for legislative relief, it's worth noting “the carriers have no effective way of promoting their cause before legislative or regulatory bodies except to emphasize their disadvantages to the utmost”; their only way to get substantial relief is to show “disaster threatens.”
Many holders of rail, utility, and industrial bonds are reported switching into govt. issues due to continued reports of “drooping” corporate earnings.
T. Shotwell of H.L. Horton & Co.: “Better times are in sight”; business more cheerful, “has quit running away and is facing the situation with that determination to win which is the American characteristic.” Time has come to invest in stocks for capital increase as well as income. European troubles “mostly noise”; wars generally caused by food shortages; at start of Great War there was a world shortage of 20%, but now there's a “world surplus of food and of productive capacity.”
Broad Street Gossip: “'When looking for bargains, don't forget ... Wall Street,' remarked a broker. 'Two cheerless Christmases in Wall Street in succession would be rather a rare happening.'”
Economic news and individual company reports:
Assoc. of Railway Executives, representing all class 1 rails, reportedly will ask Congress for sweeping legislative relief including increasing license costs on buses and trucks, putting coastal ships under jurisdiction of the ICC, and making oil industry divest itself of pipelines.
Bradstreet's reports cooler weather has stimulated buying, offsetting to some extent effects of bank suspensions in South and Midwest in the past 3 weeks; fall buying is still below a year ago.
Total market value of the 1930 cotton crop will decline drastically; the 1928 crop value was $1.535B, 1929 was $1.426B, and 1930 will be about $926M.
Electric output by US light and power industry for week ended Nov. 22 was 1,722 GWHr vs. 1,718 in prev. week and down 6.2% from 1929.
Operating income of 103 telephone cos. in Sept. was $22.925M vs. $23.363M in 1929; first 9 months was $202.0M vs. $205.5M.
Company reports since Oct. 1: 225 companies reported higher earnings vs. 1929 and 376 lower; 584 dividends unchanged, 57 increased, 90 cut.
Scarlet Sister Mary - Ethel Barrymore's long-deferred return to Broadway was an occasion, even more so because it was also the New York debut of her daughter, Ethel Barrymore Colt. “And the fact that the return of the one and the debut of the other were in black-face made it an occasion twice over.” However, the play's characters aren't well developed, and though they're sympathetically approached, “the time seems to have passed when black-face makeup and rhetorical inflection, however sympathetic, will make for a complete illusion” in a realistic drama, especially given the success of black actors playing black parts in the past few years. Plot: Sister Mary weds July, who then leaves her for “the serpentine Cinder, who knows the wicked ways of the city.” While this desertion is a severe blow, Mary recovers and, “in defiance of the church which has expelled her, she lives according to her own law for 20 years, bestowing her great affections on many men, having many children and radiating an earthy strength and personal agreeability in so many ... directions that her life is almost legendary.” Death of her firstborn child causes Mary to see new meaning in life and death, return to faith.
“'How shall I account for the $10,000 our cashier skipped out with last week?' asked the head bookkeeper of the bank president. 'Oh, charge it to running expenses,' ordered the president.”
+ The Boring Stuff: