Talk Like a Stock Market Operator

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Agents/Foghorns: The propaganda which accompanies the moves in the leading stocks may be supplemented by sending agents to dozens of brokerage houses to talk loudly of moves in the less prominent stocks. This policy may be a negligible factor in a move, but a “foghorn can walk into an office where there are 20 customers and several employees of the firm, buy 100 shares to back his statements and influence customers to buy. (Hickernell)

Agitation: It is only when misgovernment grows extreme enough to produce a revolutionary agitation among the shareholders that any change can be effected. (Spencer)

Army of Speculators: The army of speculators who form their battalions and charge up and down the field of the stock market is a motley crowd, and like the army of Xerxes, includes representatives from many nations — Americans from all sections of the Republic, Englishmen, Scotchmen, Welshmen, Irishmen, Germans, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Italians, Russians, Norwegians, Danes, Hungarians, Hebrews, Greeks and Ethiopians, masquerading under the guise of bulls and bears, swell the host and rush together in hostile combat. (Fowler)

Ballooning: To work up a stock far beyond its intrinsic worth by favorable stories, fictitious sales, or other cognate means. (Munsey’s Magazine)

Bear Brigade: The old gentleman took an omnibus up town, with a serene smile playing on his venerable features at the thought of his Pittsburg. J.F. passed down William Street with the air of a man who had inflicted, or was about to inflict, a terrible revenge on his old enemy Pittsburg, and joined a group of sad but determined looking men who belonged to the bear brigade and used to stand in front of the office of D. Groesbeck & Co. During the two weeks then next ensuing, it was amusing to watch the goings, comings and general looks of the bear brigade. Every pleasant morning they could be seen roosting on the iron railings in William Street, and sunning themselves, or standing around like lay figures the inside entrance to the regular board. First they were loud-mouthed in their predictions that the market was just on the eve of panic. Then, as the prices rose, they grew stiller, and finally subsided into a sulky silence. (Fowler)

Bear Operators: Several years ago, during a general market reaction, practically all active stocks were attacked by bear operators. Nash Motors held at 52. The money to buy Nash at 52 in unlimited amounts may have been provided by officers of the company engaged in Factory Activities. (Hickernell)

Behind the Market: A laggard pool hopes to sell out to investors who have the habit of selling something which has advanced sharply and then looking around to buy something which is “behind the market.” (Hickernell)

Blackingless: No one who has entered the precincts of the stock exchange will have failed to notice certain nondescripts who constantly frequent the market. They are men who have seen better days, but having dropped their money in the street, come there every day as if they hoped to find it in the same place. These characters are the ghosts of the market, fixing their lackluster eyes upon it, and pointing their skinny fingers at it, as if they would say, “Thou hast done this! They flit about the doorways, and haunt the vestibules of the exchange, seedy of coat, blackingless of boot, unkempt, unwashed, unshorn, wearing on their worn and haggard faces a smile more melancholy than tears. (Fowler)

Body Blow: (From Bernard Baruch?s testimony before Congress regarding the shorting of Steel Common in December 1916.)

Baruch: The next day I covered a third of the stocks I was short on.
Q. What did you do in Steel on December 13th?
A. I sold 23,400 shares starting early in the day.
Q. Why?
A. I think the reason should be apparent to everyone. When I read the German Chancellor’s speech, which, after the greatest war, was a declaration of peace, I realized what this meant to business and finance. My mind worked to the conclusion that a man of intelligence would act quickly and sell securities. The technical position was bad and this speech was a body blow. Peace would open an era of other activities but would raise trouble with the stock market. (Hickernell)

Carried; Booming Usually: A “foghorn” is not paid a salary. He is “carried” for 100 shares or more of the stock he is booming by the operators who give him instructions. (Hickernell)

Carrying Stock: To hold stock with the expectation of selling it at an advance .(Munsey’s Magazine)

Caught on the Rallies: Every man with a dollar’s interest in the market was broke, tied up or disgusted. The large traders, who made money on the way down, got the big-head, over-sold, and were caught on the rallies. (“A Specialist in Panics”)

Chiseler: The pool manager of a stock little known will also pay money to the chiseler. The chiseler claims to have contacts which will enable him to publish propaganda in the right places, to introduce the pool manager to the right people, to arrange with financial editors of certain newspapers to comment favorably upon the stock, and to develop a public interest in the other ways. Money need not be paid to the chiseler unless he fulfills his bargain. (Hickernell)

Clique: A combination of operators controlling vast capital in order to expand or break down the market. (Munsey’s Magazine) (more…)

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