QUIET optimism has been the prevailing note on the Stock
Exchange markets during the past week. " Hope springs eternal," at all events in the breasts of Stock Exchange dealers and, just as there was hopefulness throughout the period of the Great Strike and the subsequent coal stoppage, so the Stock Exchange refused to be pessimistic last week when the short conference between coal-owners and miners proved abortive. Whether the optimism will be found to be justified remains to be seen, but undoubtedly the belief is held that the recent stoppage and trade depression, tragic as they have been, have served to concentrate the attention of the whole country upon our industrial problems. This, it is felt, is something which in itself promises a more adequate handling of these problems than has previously been attempted, and the feeling that the industrial tide may be on the turn must be held responsible for the rally which has occurred during the last week or two in Home Railways and Industrials.