STATE OF BUSINESS: Mutes in the Trumpet

Anyone who searched the U.S. economy last week could find evidence to support almost every shade of opinion, from rose to deepening blue. The statistics, as they have been for months, were mixed. Yet an increasing number of businessmen—and many more Wall Streeters—seemed to be looking only at the dark spots.

One notable example was the stock market, which started out strong, bouncing up 8.30 points to 441.04 on the Dow-Jones industrials average. But as the week progressed, a new report on railroad freight-car loadings showed a sharp drop to 703,688 cars for the week or 13.8% below 1956 levels;...

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