Readers' views of Wall Street

Of the hundreds of people who entered our stock market contest, many readers gave reasons for their year-end l99l Dow Jones predictions. We print some today. All were received prior to today's cease-fire in the gulf war. No decimals were allowed, writers are from Baltimore unless otherwise noted and, for the record, the DJ average closed 1990 at 2,633.66. For today's level, see Market Watch below.

"I predict Dow Jones 740. Incredibly sanguine predictions from financial community do not mesh with facts. How do we rid ourselves of over 10 trillion dollars of government, corporate and individual debt? This overwhelming burden will not be liquidated in a brief recession." (Henry Schwartz, Pikesville.)


"I say 2,452. As I write this, war is raging and our prayers are for all in the Mid East. The market could ride the same roller coaster our emotions do. Let there be peace." (Joann Bigley, Ellicott City.)

"I forecast 1,221 again. Did things improve in 1990? Of course not! We remain a nation of debtors and spendthrifts. 1991 marks the start of the second Great Depression. Look for collapsing stock markets, real estate and the entire banking system. Doom and gloom! Happy New Year!" (Richard Wray, Reisterstown.)


"Too many people are 'gloomy and doomy.' The majority seldom calls the market, so most likely it will rise. I say DJ 3,294." (JoAnn Bishop Palmer, Fallston.)

"I just haven't been able to win your contest. This year I won't try to be scientific. I'll pick 3,094, my house number backward." (Melvin Krolczyk.)

"I say 2,937. I expect recession and war to go on for about six months, followed by upturn in spirits and the stock market this fall." (Betsy Toland.)

"I've seen gabble from George Bush saying, 'Don't worry, be happy about the stock market.' I don't buy it. I say 1,929." (Joe Cuddy.)

"It'll be 2,654 because my daughter-in-law says so." (Bill von Paris, Upper Falls.)

"Failure of big banks and companies will send the economy into a severe recession by mid-year, depression by year-end. Dow will close l99l at 1,797." (John Stratton, Catonsville.)

"Trying not to get caught up in all the gloom, I'm hanging onto optimism with 3,001." (Mrs. Donald Allen.)

"U.S. financial problems will put a damper on any market gains. I say 2,666." (Milton Goldberg.)


"Don't know a thing about stocks, but still going strong at 73, dancing, golfing, working at Park School. I predict 2,728." (Mrs. Audrey Nastvogel.)

"Now that war has begun, economy should stabilize by year's end at Dow Jones 2,746. (Gary S. Hoopengardner, Bel Air.)

"This very inconsistent market will post only modest gains over last year. I say 2,801." (Fred Murray Jr., Pikesville.)

"Six months of war plus ending recession will drop Dow to 2,350. Postwar jubilation and economy turnaround will raise Dow about 20 percent. I pick 2,809." (Kurt Schreiber, Towson.)

"A 16 percent rise over last year's close. War will be short and recession end by midsummer. So it's 3,058." (Larry Wagoner.)

"Sky is falling, sky is falling, but not stocks. Elvis is alive and working at Dunkin" Donuts, Dundalk. It'll be 2,931." (Richard Hoyt.)


"2,959. I'm a previous second place winner." (Paul Benedict, Pikesville.)

"I fear the market may be hexed, so it'll be 2,666." (John J. O'Connor.)

"Fifteen percent less than the average of 54 experts, namely 2,282." (Robert Semel, Randallstown.)

"My crystal ball is hazy, but stocks look lazy. It's 2,769." (Edwina Hoyt.)

"I'll pick DJ 3,324, my address number." (Betty-Lynne Svehla, Fallston.)

"Tho '91 appears no fun/ it may fill us with glee/ I choose as I did the year just seen/ the same DJ -- 3043." (Hal Gamber, Timonium.)