COMMODITIES: The Big Shake-Out

It had looked as if the worst were over, for the time being. Cotton prices, which had cracked wide open a fortnight ago, had steadied. But last week prices of cotton futures plummeted again. For two days they dropped the daily legal limit: $10 a bale. As December futures worth 39¢ a pound four weeks ago, hit 29¢, the panicky exchanges suspended trading for a day, for the third time in two weeks.

This time there was no bigtime speculator to blame, like New Orleans' Tom Jordan (TIME, Oct. 28). (Tom Jordan, who lost heavily in cotton, put his New...

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