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Quote of the Day
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
-Henry Ford. His company, the Ford Motor Company, had its IPO on this day in 1956.
January 17th – This Day in Stock Market History
January 17th, 1956 – Ford IPOs at $64.50 a share. Shares close the day at $70.50, giving the company a market cap of $660 million.
Ford was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated in Michigan on June 16, 1903. Initially, the corporation’s common stock was entirely owned by Henry Ford and a small group of local investors.
Then, in 1919, Henry Ford bought out all of these investors and reincorporated the company in the State of Delaware. From 1919 to 1956, all stock in the company was owned by members of the Ford Family, the Edison Institute and the Ford Foundation. Henry Ford would have likely never taken the company public if he had a choice. But after his death in 1947, the Ford family and Ford foundation decided to raise money by going public.
Today, Ford is worth $35.5 billion, giving investors a compounded annual return of 6.5% since the company’s IPO.
Ford stock chart:
January 17th, 1991 – The U.S. aerial bombardment against Iraq begins.
Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2nd 1990.
On this day 1991, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rises 4.6%, 114.60 points (at the time, the second largest point gain in history) and gold falls $30.10 to $374/oz as traders sense victory is near.
Although with hindsight we tend to think of the Gulf war as an easy victory, the onset of the war led to volatility in the stock markets in late 1990. U.S stocks fell 21% from July 1990 to October 1990 as the chances of war increased.
Source: Panic, Prosperity, and Progress: Five Centuries of History and the Markets
January 17th, 1995 – At 5:46 am a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hits Japan. What becomes known as the Hanshin or Kobe Earthquake kills 6,500 and causes nearly 10 trillion Yen in damages.
Japan’s stock market reaction was muted at first, falling just over 2% over the next 3 trading days. However, selling accelerated January 23rd when the Nikkei dropped more than 1,000 points. The resulting decline was the leading factor in the failure of 232 year old Barrings bank on March 6th, 1995, which failed after rogue trader Nick Leeson’s losses on Japanese derivative bets.
Best January 17th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
1991 – Up 4.57%, 114.60 points.
Worst January 17th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
2008 – Down 2.46%, 306.95 points.
Read of the Day
Ford Motor Company has an incredible history, though the company’s history is not full of profit producing endeavors. The Ford Edsel was released August 27th, 1957 and would become the largest bust in automotive history. The book ‘Business Adventures’ by John Brooks devotes a chapter to the Ford Edsel, and its story is very interesting.
“In other, harsher words, the company would have saved itself money if, back in 1955, it had decided not to produce the Edsel at all but simply to give away 110,810 specimens of its comparably priced car, the Mercury.”
The book made Bill Gates’ best book list in 2016, and now that it has been reprinted can be found for only a few dollars used on Amazon:
Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
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