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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 20, 1938, Image 51

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WASHINGTON, D. C., MARCH 20, 1938.
Week’s Gain of 7.89 Pet.
Leaves Volumes 4.11
Under Year Ago.
Fifth District Cities Make Better
Showing Than Other Areas
During Week.
Retail trade in Washington depart
ment stores during the past week
registered a gain of 7.89 per cent over
the previous week, only one store re
porting a decrease, the Commerce De
partment reported yesterday in a re
view of business conditions in 36 im
portant cities. The report added that
there was an average decrease of 4.11
per cent in store sales when compared
with the corresponding week a year
In the rest of the fifth district trade
for the week continued to run slightly
below the comparative period a year
•go. Baltimore and Charleston, S. C„
reported trade ahead of the previous
week and Richmond announced that
trade in the month of February was
more than 11 per cent ahead of Feb
ruary, 1937.
The trade percentages for Wash
ington and many other cities in this
territory were much more favorable
than those covering other sections of
the country. The fact that Easter
falls three weeks later than last year
Is of great importance in appraising
trade conditions. Wholesalers re
ported a gain during the week in pre
Easter buying, the Commerce review
Washington bank clearings were
lower than in the same week last
year. Building permits totaled $240.
900 against $812,110 a year ago. It is
now estimated by the Federal Reserve
Board that the lateness of Easter will
make a difference of about 7 per cent
In March trade.
Convention "Call" I.sued.
T. Stanley Holland, general chair
man of the 1938 convention of the
District Bankers Association, has is
sued invitations to bank officers, di
rectors and their friends to attend the
annual conclave at Hot Springs. Va„
on June 9, 10. 11 and 12.
The so-called "first call" is accom
panied by a return postal card and
it U anticipated that reservations will
come in promptly. This committee
and the Program Committee are now
hard at work perfecting advance
The bankers and their friends will
make the train trip to and from Hot
Springs in the daylime again this
year. This plan was adopted last
year for the White Sulphur visit and
proved highly successful, as it avowed
two nights on sleepers.
Exchange Trading Lively.
During a busy session of the Wash
ington Stock Exchange yesterday. C.ty
& Suburban 5s, 1958, sold at 58 on
two $1,000 transactions. Washington
Gas 5s, 1958, were again strong,
changing hands at 105:,g.
In the stock division Capital Transit
opened with a 25-share sale, following
with a 27-share transfer, both at 7r,g.
The stock ended the week with 7'4
bid and 75g asked.
Mergenthaler Linotype appeared on
the board again, 10 shares moving at
191* and 15 more at 19 flat. The
final bid was 18 with 197g asked. The
stock has sold lower since it was an
nounced a few' days ago that the mat
ter of dividends will not be given fur
ther consideration until near the end
of the fiscal year, although sales are
now running better than in the like
period a year ago.
Air Traffic up 107 Per Cent.
American Airlines, Inc., handled
107.8 per cent more passengers in
Washington in February than in the
same month last year, acording to
District Manager Herbert D. Ford.
The figures for February were 35 per
cent better than January which in
turn was 264 per cent ahead of Janu
ary, 1937. Mr. Ford said.
The report states that 1.459 pas
sengers were carried in February
against 1,074 in January of this year
and 702 in February a year ago.
Business gains in the first two and a
half months of the present year indi
cate that additional service through
Washington will soon be required.
Such plans already are under way,
Mr. Ford announced.
BischofT Guest of Controllers.
The District of Columbia Control
of the Controllers Institute of America
will meet at the Carlton Hotel Tues
day at 6:30. The regular meeting,
after dinner, will consist of a round
table discussion on the merit rating
provisions of the District of Columbia
Unemployment Compensation Act.
John L. BischofT of the District of
Columbia Unemployment Compensa
tion Board will be a guest.
The president of this group, which
Is a local body of the national or
ganization, is John Davies of Wood
ward & Lothrop. W. R. Little, of The
Evening Star, is vice president and
Humphrey Lloyd of Washington Prop
erties, Inc., secretary-treasurer.
Heard in Financial District.
William M. Aitchison, associated
with Remington-Rand, Inc., for the
past 13 years, has joftied the staff of
Slauson, White & Rowe, Inc., Wash
ington, distributors for Independence
Pund of North America.
John W. Prentiss, partner in Horn
blower & Weeks, who died suddenly
in New York, was known here as a
former president of the Investment
Bankers Association and the Associa
tion of Stock Exchange Firms of New
York. He was bom in Bangor, Me.,
In 1875 and was a graduate of Harvard.
Thomas J. Groom, president of the
District Bankers Association, has re
turned from a week visit at Atlantic
Merle Thorpe, editor of Nation’s
Business, was one of the leading
speakers at the closing session of the
American Bankers Association con
ference in Indianapolis.
Foreign Funds Turn Home
As European War Talk Fades
Pound Sterling Leads General Rise.
French Franc Edges Higher—Other
Currencies Gain.
By the Associated Press.
NEW YORK, March 19.—War talk
subsided today, and European curren
cies, reversing a week-long flight to
the dollar, started a return flow to
foreign capitals.
The pound sterling was the chief
gainer in a general advance, moving
up 1 13-16 cents. The French franc,
still a little nervous from the double
threat of domestic troubles and Ger
man expansion, edged forward .00*;
of a cent. The belga was .01 Vi of a
cent ahead.
Holland guilders, one of the most
severely depressed in terms of the dol
lar in the overseas rush of "scared”
money, rebounded .18 of a cent. The
Swiss franc, another weak spot, fin
ished with a gain of .03 of a cent.
Trading in the Mexican peso was
suspended over the week end, it was
reported in exchange circles, due to
refusal of the Bank of Mexico to make
dollar balances available. The peso
was obtainable at local banks, how
ever. Some quarters saw in this ac
tion a link with the formal expropria
tion by the Mexican government of
foreign oil properties.
February Rate Reaches
98.9 Per Cent Against
93.5 for January.
By the Associated Press.
The Census Bureau reported ye*
; terdav the cotton spinning industry
i operated during February at 98.9 per
cent, of rapacity, on a single shift
basis, compared with 93.5 per cent
during January this year, and 144.8
per cent during February last year.
Spinning spindles in place February
28 totaled 26.549.720, of which 22.356.
i 638 were active at some time during
| the month, compared with 26,610.596
and 22.326,444 for January this year,
and 27.103.076 and 24,536.254 for Feb
ruary last year.
Active spindle hours for January
I totaled 5.588,526,750 or an average of
; 210 hour* per spindle in place, com
pared with 3,682,452.696 and 214 for
January this year, and 8,352,662,065
and 308 for February last year.
Spinning spindles in place Febru
: ary 28 in cotton-growing States
1 totaled 18,809,378. of which 16,*82,908
were active at some time during the
month, compared with 18,812.744 and
16.897,958 for January this year, and
18,952,236 and 17,760,252 for Febru
| ary last year.
Active spindle hours for February
in cotton-growing States totaled 4,
383,169,001, or an average of 233 hours
per spindle in place, compared with
4.554,720.798 and 242 for January this
; year, and 6.374.864,652 and 336 for
February last year.
Active spindle hours and the aver- I
age per spindle in place for February
by States follow;
Alabama, 395,237.762 and 206; j
Georgia, 742,429,790 and 229; Missis- J
sippi, 56,154,744 and 270; N(4th Caro- j
lina, 1.288,259,870 and 213; South
Carolina. 1,479,985,125 and 259; Ten
nessee, 178.923.04fr and 298; Texas,
62,510,698 and 243; Virginia, 144,- !
442,388 and 228.
London Lead Shows Independent
Firmness in Face of Drop
in Other Lines.
By the Associated Press.
NEW YORK, March 19 —A curtail
ment of business and a nervous move
ment of prices in non-ferrous metals
last week was attributable mainly to
the threatening aspect of the Euro
pean political situation.
The London lead market, however,
displayed independent firmness in face
of the decline in other metals. For
eign buying reflected expanding arma
ment demand, while maturing March
requirements and the approaching
higher freight rates accounted for the
upturn in domestic buying.
Substantial buying of copper for
Russian and Japanese account lifted
the export market early, but the gains
were lost later owing to the weakness
in sterling. February statistics showed
a moderate decrease in stocks abroad,
but domestic supplies at the end of
February totaled 326,244 tons, an in
crease of over 27,000 tons for the
month, and established the highest
level since July, 1935. Domestic cop
per held unchanged at 10 cents a
pound, with a slight pick-up in buying
noted late in the week following ex
treme quietness earlier.
Zinc was reduced one-fourth to
4.50 cents a pound. East St. Louis, re
flecting an unusually slack demand.
Tin advanced seven-eighths of a cent,
reacted partially, and ended with spot
net one-fourth cent higher at 41V4
cents a pound.
A factor in the recent foreign de
mand for the dollar was the report
of the Federal Reserve Bank of the
engagement in England of $1,354,000
in gold and $848,000 previously en
gaged and now reported, also from
England. The British stabilization
fund was said to have recently been
a heavy buyer of dollars through sales
of gold. Closing rates follow; Great
Britain in dollars, others in cents.
Great Britain, demand, 4.96 9/16;
cables, 4.96 9/16; 60-day bills, 4.95%;
France, demand, 3.07%; cables, 3.07'2;
Italy, demand, 5.26%; cables, 5.26'/2
Demands: Belgium, 16.84; Ger
many, free, 40.18; registered, 19.50;
travel, 24.00; Holland. 55.28; Norway,
24.95; Sweden, 25.58; Denmark, 22.17;
Finland, 2.20'2; Switzerland, 22.93;
Spain unquoted; Portugal, 4.50%;
Greece, .91; Poland. 18.95; Czecho
slovakia, 3.50; Yugoslavia, 2.35; Aus
tria unquoted; Hungary, 19 90; Ru
mania, .75; Argentina, 33.07n; Brazil,
free, 5.90n; Tokio, 28.60; Shanghai,
28.87' i; Hong Kong, 30.87; Mexico
City. 27.80; Montreal in New York,
99.467*; New York in Montreal,
100.53‘g. n—Nominal.
53,362,360 EARNED
1937 Net Compares With
$4,194,314 Recorded
in Previous Year.
By the Associated Preas.
NEW YORK. March 19 —Standard
Oil Co. of Ohio today reported 1937
net profit of $3,362,960, equal to $3.66
a share on the common stock, com
pared with $4,194,314, or $4.76 a com
mon share in 1936.
St. Regis Paper Co.
St. Regis Paper Co. with extensive
properties in widely scattered sections I
of the United States and Canada, to
day reported for 1937 net Income of
$1,188,875. equal to 21 cents a share
on the common after annual provisions
for the preferred stock, on which there j
are accumulations. This compared
with $730,084. or 10 cents a share in
Zenith Radio dorp.
Zenith Radio Corp., Chicago, re
ported for nine months ended Janu
ary 31, profit of $1,418,978 before]
Jtaxes, compared with $2,347,987 In ;
the like period of the preceding fiscal i
Other Firms Report.
Other corporate earnings statements
released during t=*e week showing
profits per common share included:
Quarter Ended December 31.
„ , , „ 103:. 1936.
Inti N.rk-i Canada .14 .ill
l'ear Ended December .31.
Allied Chcm A: Dvp Ji 1!t 11 ii
Allis Chalmers 4 4 ’ •> •>
Amrr Commt Alcohol _ -1 ss :i in
Amrr Locomotive 4 • : "S
Cora-Cota Inti 3V i | :',<i in 1
Co.itmb an Carbon _ R.n ;'jr
Curtis Wricht _ tt 71 t vs
Dome Mines _ 4 •’;{ 4
Eastman Kodak _ n ;i; r
Gann»tt Co s 04 7 5.1 .
Inti Tel tc Tel _ linn if'
Libbev-O»en'-Ford _ 4. Hi 4 14
Natl Cash Reelster _ 2.41, 1 711
Phillips Petroleum 5.42 4 11"
Pit'sbursh Plate Glass 8.33 7J5
•Studebaker _ 37 1 ni
Texas Corp __ 5.02 410
Transamertca __ 1.14 J os
United Alrcratt 1.52 i77
• On preferred shares,
t On "A’’ shares.
1,784.000 Estimate for 1938
Compares With 1.706.000
Harvested in 1937.
By the Associated Press.
The Crop Reporting Board said
grower reports indicated a 1938 tobacco j
acreage of 1.784,000 acres, compared
with an unrevised estimate of 1,706,000
acres harvested in 1937, or an increase
of 4.6 per cent.
It said acreage increases were indi
cated for all classes of tobacco except
fire-cured, for which there was a 4
per cent prospective decrease, and
cigar filler which it reported showed
no change.
The board listed the percentage in
creases for other types as follows;
Flue-cured, 5; light air-cured, burley
and Maryland, 6; dark air-cured, 2;
cigar binder, 14; slgar wrapper, 5.
The board said it did not take into
consideration the possible effect of
marketing quotas in arriving at the
prospective acreage, based on reports
as of March 1.
It listed prospective 1938 acreage by
classes of tobacco as follows:
Flue-cured, 1,013,000; fire-cured,
136.800; air-cured (light), 493,300; air
cured (dark), 49,200; cigar filler,
. NEW YORK. March 19 <*>>.—Raw hide
futures closed. 3 2-17 hither: sales. 2.0RO.
000 pounds; June. 9.07: September. 9.37
9.40: December. 9.70n. Spot. No. 1. West
ern llsht native cows. 8v4 nominal, n—
Weekly Financial High Lights
By the Associated Press. This week. Prev. week. Year ago.
Brokers’ loan* ._ $603,000 $700,000 $1,136,000
Holdings U. S. securities. 2,564,015 2,564,015 2,430,227
Gold reserve . 9,188,602 9,178,601 8,844,417
Rediscounts . 8,149 8,419 4,334
Bank clearings. 5,480,233 4,748,227 7,358,198
Electric output (kilowatt hours)
week ended March 12 2,0l4,729 2,035,673 2,212,897
(Final three ciphers omitted in above.)
Car loadings, week ended March 12.. 556,664 552,916 744,499
Crude oil produced (barrels) - 3,382,100 3,339/700 3,372^850
Stock sales, N. Y. Stock Exchange_ 4,873,870 3,444,580 10,375^840
Bond sales, N. f. Stock Exchange- $39,279,225 $36,141,800 $106,885!o00
New financing - 18,649,900 6,424,500 26,096,500
Federal Reserve ratio. 80.4% 80.4% 80.5%
Steel output rate.. 32.1% 59.9% 88.9%
Call money rate__ . 1% 1% 1%
Time money rate..............- 1%-1%% 1*4-1%% 1*4%
Commercial paper___........ 1% 1% $4%
Steels, Motors, Aircrafts,
Rubbers, Rails, Golds
Join Recovery.
Market Heartened by Break in
War Clouds Abroad—Barkley
Stirs Tax Revision Hopes.
Sgturdgy. Frld»y.
Advances _3HK :tr
Decline* _ 114
Unchanged _ 14S «5
Total issues .... «30 »01
Associated Press Financial Writer.
NEW YORK. March 19.—Financial
markets finished a generally disap
pointing week with a recovery push
today, heartened apparently by a
break in Europe's ominous war clouds.
Stocks got off to a rallying start in
the short session following word
Lithuania had accepted the Polish
ultimatum unconditionally, thus avert
ing, at least for the moment, a pos
sible military explosion on the Con
tinent that could have embroiled vir
tually all world powers.
At the best share gains ran to 4 or
more points among favored steels, mo
tors. rubbers, gold mines, aircrafts,
farm implements, rails, mail orders
and specialties. Top marks were low
ered a trifle by profit selling near the
Average Holds Ada nee.
The Associated Press average held a
net. advance of .7 of a point at 40.9
against a drop yesterday of 1.5 points.
Transfers totalled 442.070 shares com
pared with 299.850 last Saturday. The |
average on the week showed a net,
loss of 1.4 points. The turnover for
the six days was th» largest for any
similar period since the latter part of
On the business side the day's news
was scant, although forecasts were ■
heard of a mild pickup in steel opera- i
tions next week and a possible bet
terment in automobile output.
Overnight study of the statement
of Senator Barkley, majority leader,
that a tax revision bill that would
please industry would pass Congress
within a month was a cheering in
fluence as was the enactment by the
New York Legislature of a measure
cutting the State’s capital gains taxes
in half and otherwise lightening Im
posts on speculative and investment
Oil Shares Undisturbed.
Action of Mexico in expropriating
the country’s petroleum industry failed ■
to disturb oil shares in the brief ses
sion Standard Oil of N. J. and Con-!
solidated Oil, both with important in
terests in the southern republic !
closed behind plus signs, the former 1
up 1>4 at 47’, and the latter •» at j
Bonds reflected the latest peace
gesture with general improvement,
rail loans being in demand and for
eign obligations moving up sharply.
Dome Mines was one of the strong
est stocks of the day. gaining 4 points
at 517* in response to announcement
share owners would be asked to vote
on a 2-for-l split-up.
Other climbers in the final session
included U. S. Steel at 51, Bethlehem,
S514; Chrysler, 50; Kennecott, 36'*;
Westinghouse, 86V Du Pont, 113;
U. S. Rubber, 31 ss; Montgomery
Ward, 32V J. I. Case. 80; Douglas
Aircraft. 40V Homestake. 53; Santa
Fe, 29V N. Y. Central. 13V East
man Kodak. 148 V Allied Chemical,
156, and Allis Chalmers, 45 V
Stocks suffered the most severe
beating of the week on Friday when
it looked as though war was just
around the corner. The general aver
age fell to a new 2-year bottom while
the rail composite broke through to
the lowest level since 1932.
By the Associated Press.
The Bureau of Agricultural Eco
nomics said yesterday it expected cat
tle prices to remain relatively stable
near present levels during the next
several months.
It said slaughter supplies of better
grades of cattle probably would in
crease during the spring months. No
price decline was likely to follow, it
explained, in view of the fact that
supplies dropped sharply during the
October-January period.
Only a considerable upturn in in
dustrial activity and the employment,
it said, could be expected to Improve
• -•
Sperir.'. Dispatch to The Star.
NEW YORK, March 19.—Directors
of Laclede Steel Co. declared a divi
dend of 15 cents a share on the com
mon, payable March 27 to stock of*
record March 20. In 1937 the com
pany paid 25 cents in three quarterly
periods and $1.25 at the end of the
year. The company’s plants are at
Alton and Madison, 111., and Dallas,
. NEW YORK. March 19 OP).— Federal
Land Bank bonds:
,. Bid. Asked.
4%s Nov. 1958-.TR_ 102% 103%
4s May 195H-38_1(10% 101%
4a July. 1940-44_ 110% 111%
3%S May. 1955-45 _103'/, 103%
3s July, 1955-45 _101% 107%
3s Jan.. 1950-40 _101*. 102%
3S May. 1956-40 _101% 102%
PHILADELPHIA. March 19 OP).—Live
poultry: Fowls. Plymouth Rock, fancy.
22: mixed colors. 20-21: ducks. Muscovy
white. 20; blacks. 19.
Dressed poultry—Fowls, fresh killed In
boxes. 20%-24.
Wheat—No. 2 red winter sarlieky. March
delivery. 89%.
8jr»si^-J,y?8h*easat; easy; prices un
Dow Jones Slock Averages
(Retlatered United State* Patent Office.)
4.-11 1,> 2* «-»—l^ -ip f 1,2 19
150j-—*---- ISO
\ industrials]
ho---— -HO
‘JAN. 11 132«1
W i,J/ \».r1" Vk
12flj— -\p±-Wn*--f-120
118.93 r 11849 *
DEC. 28 FEB. 3
—1—J-1-t . I .11-1...- 1-1 . ■ .1 1-1_- i -< i i i .1 i
The high, low and closing averages of 30 industrial stocks as compiled by Dow Jones & Co are
shown above. Extending back for four months, the top of each vertical line represents the
high while the bottom represents the low point of each day. The small intersecting horizontal
line represents the closing average. The high and low averages of each movement are given
on either side of the average lines. Industrials continued to retreat this week and broke
sharply on Friday as a result of war fears. A p artial recovery was staged Saturday.
| railroads]
^ 32.65 32.33 1 " T — '35
DEC. 21 .JAN. 10
^VSmh-'V r*V»j ra”a
“j ^.fi" -
, V,
-'-1-1-1-I-li-!-1' ■ I > ' ■ ■ , ■ , _•
The Dow Jones averages of 20 railroad stocks are compiled in the same manner Rails
moved lower and showed little recovery at the iceek’s close.
1 ■’ ~' • i ' • » J : “ i » “ i i * J
I :i*.
irir*r*fchVn« it':
i PI';,S% i ****N».fu
I • j brft •
—I—i -:-' i.- i _i t i i i . _ l ' i ■ t_
Averages of 20 utilities are shown in the third section of the compilation. This group
slumped with the rest of the market and recovered moderately on Saturday.
es 2
c/l L_
O cr,
5 o;
/ T
5 =
Z i
_The volijme of shares traded on the stock market for the same period is shown above.
Poor’s Declares I. C. C. Has
Done Little to Solve
Rail Problem.
Special Dispatch to The Star.
NEW YORK, March 19 — In a
freight rate decision which was rela
tively disappointing, and which has
done little to solve the railroads’ prob
lem of increasing revenues to cover
higher costs, the Interstate Commerce
Commission appears to have dealt a
severe blow to the country's railroads,
according to Poor's Bond Advisory
Service. The decision's repercussions
have included a sharp decline in rail
road securities, and some setback to
general business.
"The outlook for the many border
line roads has now become very dubi
ous.” states the analysis. “The only
salvation for many of them is an early
and sustained upswing in traffic, or an
early and drastic downward revision
in wages and taxes. It appears prob
able that efforts will be made in the
near future to force an adjustment of
wage rates.
“There is *no doubt but that the
railroad industry faces a crisis in its
affairs, and that the existence of the
crisis is well known to the various
authorities at Washington. Confer
ences are to be held in the near future
to seek a solution. Pending further
developments in the railroad situation,
the conservative policy is to delay new
commitments in railroad issues. Poor’s
recommends retention of underlying
obligations of the border-line roads
(with the exception of the "anthra
cite” roads) on the basis that even
though bankruptcy is forced, there is
the strong possibility of changes in
the bankruptcy legislation to give
holders a better chance of obtaining
occasional interest payments than
they have under present conditions.
A large majority of the junior obliga
tions of the border-line roads are now
selling at levels which practically dis
count bankruptcy.”
Bpeeltl Dliptlcn to The Star.
NEW YORK, March 19 —Revenues
for the transit Industry for the week
ending March 12, 1938, based on tele
graphic reports received from a rep
resentative group of transit operating
companies, showed a moderate de
crease from last year.
Transit Journal's revenue indicator
stands at 94.51, which represents a
loss of 5.49 per cent from the cor
responding week in 1937.
For the week ending March 8, 1938,
the indicator was 92.76.
Revenues for the latest week showed
some improvement over those of the
preceding week, but the general level
remained slightly below that of this
that last year.
Trading During the Past Week
Mon Tuts. Wed., Thun Fri. Sar.
Mat 14 MatlS Mat 16 Mar 17 Mar/6 Mar 19
Three lines in each of the market divisions show the
high, low and closing Dbw Jones averages for the past week.
Ey the Associated "-ess.
The Interocean Dirigible Corp. of
New York City filed a registration
statement with the Securities Com
mission yesterday covering 1,000,000
shares of >1 par value common stock.
The company said it intended to
design, manufacture, lease and repair
all types of aircraft, particularly
lighter-than-air craft and to develop
an airport.
Interocean Securities, Inc., of New
York City was named the principal
By the Associated Press.
The Commerce Department reports
department store collections on open
credit accounts were 3.3 per cent better
in January than in December, but were
1.1 per cent poorer than in January,
NEW YORK. March 19 (&>.—Wool top
futures advanced sllthtly In a small turn
over on trade buying and covering. Futures
closed 3-7 higher. October 77.2b; De
cember. 77.3b. Spot, standard tops. 82.0,
bp 0.5. b—Bid.
Steel Rate Gains Slightly.
Loadings and Motor
Output Also Up.
Unfavorable Weather and Adverse
Industrial Conditions Cited
as Major Factors.
Aisoclatad Press Financial Writer.
The Nation’s business approached
spring in a timid mood.
During the last week the steel Indus
try’ braced up a little. Carloadings and
motor production edged ahead slightly.
Electric power output declined.
The Associated Press index of in
dustrial activity receded to 68 4 from
68.5 the previous week and compared
with 105.9 in the like week of 1937.
Reflecting the industrial drop of
about 35 per cent from a year ago,
retail sales were ragged.
’’Encouraging signs of immediate
trade improvement which seemed to
be discernible a week ago have turned
out to be mere mirages of hope.” the
Commerce Department said in its
weekly review of business in 36 cities.
Lag Behind Year Ago.
‘Reports indicate that retail and
wholesale trade are everywhere running
behind the comparable period of last
year, and in only a comparatively few
cities has there been improvement
over the previous week.
"While unfavorable weather and
the fact that Easter is near.lv a month
away have put on the brakes in a
decisive manner, unemployment and
generally unfavorable business condi
tions seem to account for a consid
erable part of the slowing down."
Steel operations rose to 32.1 per
cent of capacity, the American Iron
and Steel Institute reported. This
compared with 29 9 per cent a week
ago and 88.9 per cent in the like 1937
Steel trade circles said the rise was
the result of demand from a widening
number of sources. The fact was
stressed that the two front-line con
sumers—the motor and railroad in
contributed relatively
little to the Improvement.
(i . Buying Delayed.
. ^appointed as to the net amount
of the freight rate Increases granted
1 k by 'u6 lnterstate Commerce
Commission, the railroads have made
i no concerted move toward the re
sumption of buying of even the rou
i tlne requirements that have been ac
cumulating during recent months of
inaction.” said Iron Age
1 J„he better demand from miseel
ianeous sources was partly seasonal
and in .part due to the low ebb to
vhich inventories have fallen in some
he n,n "a‘S ;!a‘d How aggressively
the motor makers will step up to the
counter for steel depends on the final
results of efforts to clear out stock*
of used cars.
From Detroit came word motor ex
ecutives agreed the sales drive of lasK
week sharply reduced the supply of
second-hand automobiles which had
been clogging channels for new mod
els. Most were said to be convinced
however °f the need for continued
selling efforts.
j Automobile output totaled 57 555
compared with 57,438 the week be
fore and 98,978 in the corresponding
period a year ago, Ward's reported.
Power Output Down.
In the week ended March 12, out
put of electric power declined one per
cent to 2,014,729.000 kilowatt hours,
the Edison Electric Institute reported.
Experts said the drop was more than
seasonal. Compared with the like
week a year ago, the total was 9 per
cent lower. Substantial losses from
1937 were recorded in all major geo
graphical regions.
Freight carloadings in the week
ended March 12 gained 0.7 of on*
per cent from the preceding week
the Association of American Rail
roads reported. The total. 556,664,
was 25.2 per cent under the like week
last year. A fair gain in shipments
of miscellaneous classes of freight
contrasted with modest losses in grain
and coal loadings.
How deeply the fall in loadings
has cut into railroad operating rev
enues was indicated by the report of
the association, which showed the
February total for 91 systems 23.3
per cent under that month a year
l930Snd 413 PPr Cent under February,
Reports Lack Zest.
Reports to the Commerce Depart
ment from principal centers showed
that in New York, the Nation's whole
sale and retail capital, business lacked
Boston’s retail sales dollar volume
was 8 per cent under a year ago.
Three leading Philadelphia depart
ment stores were 28 per cent behind
1937. Cleveland trade continued in
the doldrums. At Chicago wholesale
business brightened. Unfavorable
weather retarded activity in Detroit.
At Los Angeles retail and wholesale
activity ran behind last year. San
Francisco department stores reported
losses of 10 to 20 per cent under 1937.
Cities where retail trade gained
over the previous week included St.
Louis, Cincinnati, Washington. Mil
waukee and Buffalo. In Kansas City,
Memphis and Portland, Oreg., sales
held about even.
Futures were easier, especially the No.
4 contract, on Increased liquidation and
hedge selling promoted by less warlike
news from abroad. Final prices for the
No. 4 were C'i to 4'j points net lower, with
May ranging between 1.00 and 1.03. Sales.
133)50 tons.

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