To commemorate what was roughly the start of 1929’s Great Crash, the blog, News from 1930, is giving a quick summary for each day during the week, in addition to its usual summary of the day’s news from 1930. As with the 1930 news, the summary is from the WSJ on each day in 1929, so their post from yesterday describes Thursday, Oct. 24, 1929, later known as “Black Thursday.”
Friday, October 25, 1929: Dow 299.47 -6.38 (2.1%)
Market wrap: “Yesterday's market was in many respects the most extraordinary in the history of the Stock Exchange.” Market opened with wholesale liquidation of margin accounts due to yesterday's late plunge. Trading in first 30 minutes was over 1.6M shares, and pace didn't let up as session progressed; final volume was 12.895M shares vs. previous record of 8.247M. Market was in chaos by noon, with the Exchange facilities overwhelmed; brokers were flooded with orders and the stock ticker rapidly fell behind to the point of being worthless. Almost all active stocks had wide breaks in price. Selling became so panicky in the noon hour that a conference of the heads of Wall Street's largest banks was called at the J.P. Morgan offices. Following this, the market decline stopped, and then a substantial rally began that was sustained to the close. . . .
Banks in the meeting at the Morgan office included Chase Nat'l., National City, Bankers Trust, and Guaranty Trust. Shortly after the meeting, support appeared in leading stocks, followed by active bidding up [Note: According to John Train's account, this was Richard Whitney's moment of glory; cutting a dignified, patrician figure, he entered the Stock Exchange and strode calmly through the pandemonium from broker to broker, placing huge buy orders above the market.]
In The Great Crash, 1929, John Kenneth Galbraith describes the famous meeting, and Whitney’s walk through the exchange floor on pages 101-103.