STEEL: The First Split

In Wall Street brokerage offices one day last week, the tape-watchers suddenly sat up and began to take close notice. U.S. Steel, a high-priced blue chip that on most trading days is only moderately active, was leading the whole list in trading. In the biggest day's turnover (17,600: shares) since Nov. 10, Big Steel went up 1½ points, closed at 73⅜.

Next day, after the market closed, the reason came out. Big Steel announced that it would top its regular $1.25 quarterly dividend with an extra one of $1. It could well afford it. Last year's profits were $129.5 million—with another...

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