1907 - 1910
1911 - 1920
1921 - 1930
1931 - 1940
1941 - 1950
1951 - 1960
1961 - 1970
1971 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000
2001 - Today
Thursday, Oct. 31, 1929
Billions lost before market sounds bottom
By ELMER C. WALZER
NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 1929 (UP) -- The bottom of the stock market decline in progress for more than a month has been hit, say the economists, bankers, traders and corporation heads.
The sacrifice was loss in profits running into many billions of dollars. So great has been the shearing off in values that the full scope of the shock will not be realized in its true form for many weeks.
For a time the country was stunned. Business leaders were just as nervous as were the small operators. Bankers were alarmed to the point where they publicly announced they were pooling resources to stop the break.
While the end of the liquidation appears to have been reached, there is still much to be considered before a way can be found to set the machinery of a real bull market into action again.
As the keenest observers see things now, the market will settle down to its true valuation.
That settling down process will involve bidding up of some shares and further depression of others.
The loss of billions in buying power among the ranks of small speculators may curtail operations to a considerable extent.
Once values are reached, there is the possibility of further pool manipulation, but without broad public support, operations of this character must necessarily be handled in a very careful manner, else the pool will meet with disaster.
The notes of confidence in the statements on business by leaders in finance and industry do not take into consideration the status of the stock market.
No one argues that business has not been at record pace; nor is anyone blind to the fact that earnings this year may set new marks for many industrial corporations, railroads and utilities.
However, when the market was toppling, it was necessary to reiterate these facts to bring order out of chaos; to stem the mad selling by frenzied speculators who saw nothing but disaster ahead.
Regardless of the immediate trend of the market, the safest route just now is on the cautious side. Outright purchases of the best securities-either good stocks or bonds-and only quick turnover in the more highly speculative shares will insure against loss.
The recent breaks have brought into the buying line many who had entered the bull drive because of the high prices of stocks. These persons know nothing of the stock market. They do know that many made millions buying stocks low and selling them high.
They scan the lists and pick out the cheap stocks selling from $1 to $10 a share. It is these they can take in fairly large blocks.
Like the traders of the bull swing they do not consider the reason why the stocks are so low.
Perhaps earnings are poor. It matters not so long as the price is low.
No persuasion can keep these little fellows from taking a flyer. Their lesson is ahead. Just now, they perform the useful purpose of helping swell the buying power that is keeping the market from utter collapse thru frenzied selling.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International.