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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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8

The Last Great Corner

BETWEEN SPRING and midsummer, 1958, the common stock of the E. L. Bruce Company, the nation’s leading maker of hardwood floors, moved from a low of just under $17 a share to a high of $190 a share. This startling, even alarming, rise was made in an ascending scale that was climaxed by a frantic crescendo in which the price went up a hundred dollars a share in a single day. Nothing of the sort had happened for a generation. Furthermore—and even more alarming—the rise did not seem to have the slightest bit of relation to any sudden hunger on the part of the American public for new hardwood floors. To the consternation of almost everyone concerned, conceivably including even some of the holders of Bruce stock, it seemed to ...

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