September 21, 1979 was another insane day, if you were in the Gold Market. Prices were on a roller coaster ride all week and then slumped in Europe earlier this day, after reaching record highs earlier in the week. The price dropped $13.00 in London from the previous days close, and was now trading at $373.00 an ounce. In Zurich, the price had dropped only $7.00 during the previous day and, leading one Swiss dealer to remark the Gold Market was behaving like a yo-yo. The Dollar, on the other hand, had reached its lowest point all year on the European exchanges. Meanwhile, in New York; Wall Street was hoping the big rally in the stock market, which began at the close the day before, would carry through when trading resumed. In that very last hour of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial average went from a gain of about 5 points to close more than 17 points ahead and the volume of trading on the New York Stock Exchange boiled upward to more than 45 million shares, a number generally regarded as broad buying support in the market. The buying spree was touched off by reports of new Oil finds off the coast of Newfoundland. That news trigger a huge buy surge of Oil stocks which brought the price of Mobil Oil stock to its highest level in history.
But there was other news this day – Officials of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were meeting with officials of the PLO in Beirut this day. At a news conference, SLCL President Rev. Joseph Lowery proposed a moratorium on violence in the Middle East, to allow the peace process to go forward. He said PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat agreed to consider the proposal and would present the idea to the Executive Committee of the group and respond within a week. Fingers were crossed.
And the White House was still denying reports that Hamilton Jordan, President Carter‘s Chief-of-Staff, was snorting cocaine at parties. News Secretary Jody Powell described as “not accurate” a description by Leo Wyler, a former Carter fundraiser of a party at his Los Angeles home in 1977. Wyler told CBS News that the party was, in his words “licentious”, and that Jordan and two other White house staff aides attended and that he, Wyler, felt “that their approach to this relaxation was one of drugs and girls”.
And that’s a small slice of what went on this rather busy September 21, 1979, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.