Stock Watch - Stock Market Activity ( Investor News - Stock Prices )

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TIME Magazine, February 21, 1949, p. 91:

BUSINESS & FINANCE: EARNINGS:
The Diamond Chip

    In his small office in Wilmington, Del., E. Herbert Tinney performed and annual rite. A onetime accountant for Price, Waterhouse & Co., Herbert Tinney earns $5,700 a year as the only paid officer—secretary and assistant treasurer—of Christiana Securities Co. Last week, he sent out Christiana's annual report. In 1948, the company had netted $28.4 million, a substantial gain over the $23.3 million earned in 1947. For each of Christiana's 150,000 common shares, this was an earning of $182.72. Tinney mailed out all but 2 a share of this to Christiana's select little band of 3,186 common stockholders.

    That gave Christiana the distinction of paying out 99.9% of earnings and the biggest dividend of any company required by law to make a public report. It also gave the public a clue to the income of the famed Du Pont clan. Christiana, formed in 1915, is in effect the Du Pont family's own investment trust, in which the Du Ponts own or control 79,859 shares. Christiana owns 27.42% of the common stock of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which, besides making explosives and Cellophane, owns 22.67% of General Motors and 60.17% of Remington Arms.

    Christiana is the highest-priced stock on the market. It was quoted last week, over the counter, at $3,005 bid, $3,055 asked. Even at that price, it seemed to be a bargain. By buying a share of Christiana, an investor would indirectly own 19 shares of Du Pont stock, almost three shares more than if he had spent the same amount of cash to buy Du Pont stock.


TIME Magazine, March 17, 1961, p. 86:

Computers to the Rescue
    Not since the tumultuous days of the late '20s and early '30s has the New York Stock Exchange been so busy. Since the first of the year, as institutions and smaller investors swarmed back to the market, the volume of shares traded has on 17 trading days exceeded 5,000,000 shares (v. only one 5,000,000-share day in 1960). One day last week volume vaulted over the 6,000,000 mark-- and event that has happened only three times before in the past 27 years. Though the Dow-Jones industrial average ended the week at 663.56, off 8.01, there was no sign of a letup in activity-- and each share traded meant commissions for somebody.

    To cope with a daily volume of trading that the Exchange had not expected until 1965, the Exchange has hired 75 new floor employees. Even so, the trading tape-- the Exchange's vital link with the outside business world-- has lagged behind transactions every day this year except two, making it difficult for brokers off the floor to keep track of prices or to know which stocks are most active.

    Needed: Faster Tape. The current stock ticker, in operation since 1930, can record 80 to 85 sales a minute. At present, sales sometimes run as high as 150 a minute. The ticker prints the transactions horizontally on a 3/4-in. tape, giving the issue symbols on the top line, the volume and price on the bottom line...

    Under present arrangements, moving the tape any faster would not be practical. In most brokerage houses, as in the Stock Exchange itself, the tape is projected onto-- and moves across-- a slim, horizontal screen usually 5 ft. long. Even if the ticker could print faster, viewers would have a hard time reading it.

    Most Exchange experts think the solution is a whole new ticker system...

    The Difference: Automation. Big brokerage houses are far ahead of the Exchange in putting automation to work. The house that hopes to be the first to consolidate all its accounting processes into one computer operation is the 69-year-old Goodbody & Co., which is now phasing in an RCA 501 computer...

    From any of Goodbody's 39 branches outside New York City a customer's order is teletyped over A.T. & T.'s Finac network to the home office, where an operator puts it into one of the variously colored grooves in a conveyor belt to route it to the right clerk. Within minutes the order is telephoned to one of Goodbody's brokers on the Exchange floor. On normal trading days a buyer in Palm Beach can have his order executed in New York and get notification within five minutes. At Goodbody's home office the details of the transaction are punched in by hand on IBM cards that are then fed into a printer that turns out the customer's confirmation notice. When Goodbody gets its 501 computer into full use, the operation will be simpler yet; the 501 will handle the calculation of the transaction and also automatically print the confirmation.

    Many brokers, cashing in on Wall Street's big volume, have already earned nearly as much in commissions in less than three months this year as they earned in all of 1960. The good news for the houses is that the computers are holding down costs so that the increased income is not being eaten up by overtime and added staff.

 

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