Special banking report:
Merger announced among four large NY City banks: Public National, Bank of United States, Manuf. Trust, and Int'l Trust. New bank's chair. to be J. Herbert Case, currently chair. of NY Fed.; bank will be fourth-largest in NY with over $700M of deposits, 1M depositors and almost $1B of resources. Following announcement, Public and Manuf. were up sharply, but Bank of US “dropped perpendicularly” 6 1/2 points to all time low of 15 1/2 bid; other leading bank stocks closed only slightly changed. Merger considered very constructive, “calculated greatly to strengthen and stabilize the general banking situation at this center”; the new bank will apply to join the NY Clearing House Assoc. Merger terms “have been tentatively agreed upon,” but “are still subject to modification in one particular.”
Several recently closed banks reopen, and mergers reportedly in progress for others; however, two Ark. insurance cos. declared insolvent, and small banks in Ill., Mo., and Ind. were closed.
Stocks yesterday may have been helped by better banking news, with “various institutions in the interior” reopening.
Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: In the past year US businessmen have become concerned about the ability of capitalism to deal with automation, or, as Chesterton calls it, the “insatiable monster who serves us at the price of our slavery.” “Will the laboring multitudes whose services have been so brilliantly economized be able to absorb the fruits of a productivity almost unbelievably expanded?” Problem is complex, but not unprecedented; industry has grappled with it since dawn of the industrial revolution.
J. Stalin, Sec. Gen. of Soviet Communist Party, denies rumors of revolts, mutinies, arrests of high Soviet officials and generals, and other recent alarmist stories. Denies general dumping of goods possible due to small Soviet production, but predicts will be “world's largest grain producer” in two years. Talk of “selling below cost, forced labor, etcetera is sheer nonsense.” Says if political ties with US not possible, “Soviet Union at least desires to strengthen its economic ties ... And America, being a great, wealthy, technically progressive and developed country, must appreciate the advantages of such economic intercourse as much as we do.”
Democrats and Republicans both seen divided by Prohibition issue, with wet-dry dissension within each. Dems. seen more likely to adopt extreme wet position in 1932, with chair. Raskob and prominent possible candidate Roosevelt both wets, and possible strategy of using wet stance to appeal to North while depending on South to stay Democratic. Republican strategy uncertain, although some form of modification might unite the party.
British Air Ministry orders 200 bombers and fighters for Royal Air Force from Hawker Engineering; largest single order for airplanes ever made.
Burial place of seven Dutch sailors on Jan Mayen Island in Arctic found this year by radio operator for the Norwegian weather service. Sailors were left on the island in 1633 by a whaling expedition and found dead the following year when the ship returned. Also found was diary of one of the unfortunates; final words April 30 were: “Wind as before. Sun shines. Who ---”
New car features to be exhibited at the 26th Annual NY Automobile Salon Nov. 30 at the Hotel Commodore: a recessed side vanity “illuminated by a tiny lamp and giving all the conveniences of a boudoir table”; and, for the back seat driver, a rear instrument panel including speedometer, clock, altimeter, and radio set.
Market wrap: Bears exerted early pressure on theory market had become technically vulnerable after past two weeks advance; leading issues including US Steel and American Can were pushed down with moderate success for first three or four hours, but resistance was stubborn, with volume drying up and declines relatively small. A recovery set in during the last hour, with leading stocks rising above last week's closing levels, and the whole market displaying “a greatly improved aspect”; mail-order shares strong. Bond market very dull, prices irregular; US govts. continue firm; foreign mixed; corp. heavy with most issues down.
Market observers now expect further uptrend over Thanksgiving, and possibly for the next several weeks. Encouraging factors include: advance of both Dow industrial and rail averages; recent impressive resistance and buying support on price recessions; extensive deflation in brokers' loans; seasonal trade improvement.
Tax sellers who disposed of stocks in Sept. and Oct. have had a rare opportunity to buy them back at much lower prices.
An “important foreign operator” who took a huge short position last spring reportedly covered last week on advice from important bankers.
Recent market action seen “in line with the desires of important interests” who don't want either drastic declines or spectacular rallies; declines now are likely to be met with “scale support” because “important interests want to keep the market stable.”
P. Snowden, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, reports signs of improving trade in Britain and elsewhere, sees better times for world before much longer.
Season of increased retail buying for holidays usually starts right after Thanksgiving; retail trade will therefore be watched closely in coming weeks.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Fed. Reserve Bulletin reports retail trade up considerably more than usual seasonal amount Oct. 1 - Nov. 15, but industrial production and employment down; commodity prices declined further; money rates slightly easier.
Fed. Reserve member banks weekly report for Nov. 19: loans on securities down $66M to $7.838B, “all other” loans up $89M to $8.852B.
Treasury issues new rule placing on importers the burden of proof that goods are not produced by convict labor.
Companies reporting decent earnings: Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Illinois Central RR (against industry trend), Blaw-Knox (road building machinery), Thompson-Starrett (construction).
“Doctor - Your constitution is not so good. Patient - How about a little amendment, doc?”
The Metropolitan presents a “delightful and affecting” performance of Puccini's Madame Butterfly with Maria Mueller as Cio-Cio-San.
Just Imagine, a Fox picture - “presents a picture of what New York may be like in 1980,” when airplanes have virtually replaced motor vehicles, television apparatus has supplanted telephones, people are known by number instead of name, and eating is replaced by “simple swallowing, three times a day, of a small pill containing the essential essences of roast beef, vegetables, and desert.” However, Prohibition is still in force, though people get around it using liquor pills. Film's main interest is in introductory scenes showing how life is led in 50 years, and in glimpses of future male and female dress styles; “incidental song numbers and dances are unimportant, and the long expedition to Mars” is relatively boring.
+ The Boring Stuff: