WALL STREET: How to Lose a Buck

Nothing sends a stock up faster than the news that a company has a glamorous new electronic device—especially if the news is exaggerated. Example: two little-known, money-losing companies. TelAutograph and Comptometer Corp., last week set off a speculative binge that resulted in some of the wildest trading the New York Stock Exchange has seen since 1929. In eight trading days TelAutograph zipped from 9½to a high of 24½, and Comptometer soared from 15½to 30.

The moneymaking, money-losing frenzy was started by a statement from Tel-Autograph's President Raymond E. Lee that his company...

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