COMMODITIES: Confusion in the Pit

Every morning at 9:30, a big bell rings in the pit room of Chicago's Board of Trade. It sends traders swarming over the floor, starts the furious finger signaling which means "buy" and "sell" in the world's greatest grain exchange. But one day last week the big bell did not ring at 9:30; for the first time in 13 years,* grain trading stopped in Chicago.

The stoppage was part of a dizzy disruption caused by an OPA boost in grain ceilings early in May. On May 11, the Board of Trade stopped all...

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