Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: Pres. Hoover's Armistice Day speech makes his concept of the US role in world politics clearer; he favors building up the “moral obligation” to avoid hostilities through agreements such as the London Naval Treaty and agreements to use “arbitration and conciliation” to resolve disputes, but believes US role in promoting cooperation must stop “short of any implication of the use of force.” This is advisable; an obligation to “preserve peace by making war,” in the current state of world politics, “would merely throw the nations back upon the ancient European system of competitive alliances.”
Rep. Eaton (R, NJ), following meeting with Pres. Hoover, criticizes banks for not taking more active part in relieving depression: “Idle money is lying in the banks, piled up, yet the banks refuse to give loans to those who need them, with some exceptions.”
NY Gov. Roosevelt says public utilities supplying “daily needs of a people have long been recognized as” differing from ordinary trade; “must not be made the instrument of unreasonable profit of private individuals” who are much smaller in number than users of the service.
“Chinese flappers” said responsible for increased popularity of coffee; while girls aren't carrying coffee in hip flasks, younger generation of Chinese is reportedly taking to foreign style food and drink including coffee, in spite of immemorial reign of tea drinking there.
NY City basic tax rate for 1931 estimated at $2.69 per $100, 16 cents over 1930 rate.
A pawnshop on Second Ave specializes in war medals. It has scores on display in its show window, all left in the past 10 years by World War veterans who had to raise a little money. “The question is, to whom does this pawnshop sell these badges of bravery that others risked so much for?”
US Circuit Court of Appeals sustains Irving Langmuir's vacuum tube patent in suit by GE against De Forest Radio; if decision stands in Supreme Court will give GE exclusive control of production of vacuum tubes used in radios, etc. Litigation has lasted over 10 years in patent office and nearly 5 years in court.
Market wrap: Yesterday gave “some relief from the monotonous picture of a market harassed by unremitting liquidation.” There was early pressure on US Steel on lower current and anticipated production; “widely advertised drives” were also launched on GE and AT&T, driving them to new bear market lows; however, volume dried up on the reaction. News that copper had been marked up to 10 cents sparked sharp advance in producers including Kennecott and Anaconda; this was followed by a broad rally in the general list; “market as a whole was on its best behavior in nearly two weeks”; active short covering seen, and stocks closed at day's highs. Bond market moderately active and irregular; US govts. firm; foreign issues slightly lower; corp. irregular - high-grade rails steady, others irregularly lower but closed with strong tone.
During recent market declines, reports have resurfaced that bank are liquidating security loans, partly prompted by the Fed. Reserve; these continue to be denied.
View in “speculative quarters” was very optimistic on turn in copper, seeing it possibly presaging improvement in general conditions; conservative interests maintain recovery should “prove its ability to hold.” Stocks had clearly become “heavily oversold,” and short covering was said an important influence in rally.
Economists note yield on representative dividend paying stocks now averages almost 6%, almost double commercial paper rate of 3% - widest gap since 1924. By contrast, in Aug. 1929 commercial paper rate was 47% higher. More aggressive investment buying is anticipated, particularly of stocks with safe dividends.
P. Mazur of Lehman Bros. sees business recovery by last half of 1931; blames depression on overproduction, says construction now in gradual recovery.
R. Stephenson, Amer. Bankers Assoc. pres., sees business still considerably curtailed, but confidence beginning to return, and “no one other element is so forceful to stimulating recovery”; sees current caution as presaging a more dependable advance.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Several car makers report sharp increase in dealer buying since Nov. 1; attributed to new models and low inventories.
Justice Dept. “has resisted all efforts to elicit any indication as to what its attitude might be in case the copper companies went ahead with some cooperative plan.”
Western rails face “revenue dilemma” after ICC refusal to reconsider lower grain rates; may resort to the courts, claiming failure of the ICC to provide legally guaranteed 5 3/4% return on property.
Youngstown steel producers said cooperating with Carnegie Steel in efforts to stabilize prices.
Texas Railroad Commission says will continue to enforce oil proration (production control) order in spite of 4 current Texas lawsuits against it.
Several cos. cut Pennsylvania grade crude oil 15 cents to $2.15/barrel. Gasoline in Chicago wholesale market is 4 1/2 - 5 1/4 cents vs. 4 5/8 - 5 1/4 previously.
Companies reporting decent earnings: Amer. Ice, Amer. Safety Razor, Amer. Water Works & Electric.
“You would not knock the jokes we use, could you but see those we refuse.”
“Angry Widow (after learning her husband left her nothing) - I want you to take 'Rest in Peace' off that tombstone I ordered yesterday. Stonecutter - I can't do that, but I can put something underneath. Widow - All right, put on 'Till I Come.'”
+ The Boring Stuff: