Commodities: Quotations in Quicksilver

In Manhattan's modestly housed Commodity Exchange, some 60 brokers pressed around the mahogany rail circling a sunken trading pit as a bell rang promptly at 9:50 a.m. "March," intoned the exchange's trading superintendent, Patrick J. White, from his elevated perch at the edge of the ring. "Ninety," shouted Herbert Coyne of the commodity firm of Rayner & Stonington Inc. "Sold," cried Robert Marcus of Imperial Commodities Corp. A beige-jacketed clerk chalked the figure on a blackboard.

So last week, in the cryptic jargon of commodity dealers, began the world's first public trading in...

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