Dow up 11% since Jan. 1


Edging up after Tuesday's 49-point surge, the Dow Jones average added three points yesterday to close at 2,917.57. Not counting today, the Dow indicator is up 284 points -- that's 11 percent -- for the year's first quarter. Markets are closed tomorrow for Good Friday.

WHERE FROM HERE? "Storm clouds not yet apparent. Keep or get fully invested." (Bill Kent's Letter) . . . "I'm very optimistic; we have a bull market upon us." (Laszlo Birinyi) . . . "Insiders are bailing out as small investors rush to buy stocks." (LaLoggia Report) . . . "The Dow is near its all-time high, over-the-counter stocks lead the way and when stocks get this high, it's hard to find excellent values." (OTC Growth Stock Watch) . . . "The outlook, at worst, is for a temporary bull market correction. Stocks should move much higher." (Dick Davis Digest) . . . "The big money seems bullish; that's not necessarily bullish." (Forbes)

ROOM SERVICE: I just figured out that, with his $1 billion, Michael Jackson could invest that sum in super-safe U. S. government bonds and have an annual income of about $75 million without ever getting out of bed, and still have the $1 billion intact. And can you imagine having $6 million flowing into your checking account every month?

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Here are questions wives should ask husbands while both are in good health, assuming -- as too often happens -- the husband runs the family finances single-handedly: "Where are our stocks? When can I meet your broker? When can we review our investments together? Who is the bank trust officer with whom I will deal if something happens to you? When can I meet him or her? Who are the individual trustees under your will? Exactly what does your will say about me? How am I protected? Where do I get money to run the household in case of your death? Are your life insurance policies in my name? Do you owe any money? To whom?" And so on. I print this list because recently many widows and divorced women have written or visited me, often in tears, with basically one complaint: "My husband never told me . . ."

MARYLAND MEMOS: Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker (486-8010) will mail, "Why We Like to Invest in Our Own Back Yard." . . . Harry B. Gorfine & Co. (539-5474) will send a table comparing tax-exempt and taxable yields . . . T. Rowe Price Associates stock receives a 4-star rating (5-star is the highest) in Standard & Poor's Outlook, March 20. . . . "I see Dow Jones 3,000 in a few weeks," (Frank Cappiello on "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser") . . . "Last week's decline was not surprising, but I still don't see a deep recession." (Eddie Brown, same program) . . . Highest federally insured local money market and CD yields are currently at Eastern Savings Bank, Custom Savings, Senator Savings Bank, Second National Federal Savings in Salisbury and Equitable Federal Savings in Wheaton. (Data from 100 Highest Yields, March 18)

MONTH-END MEMOS: A well-known suburban Baltimore car dealer told me his business still feels the recession, with little end in sight . . . Did you realize that 70 senators have proposed expanding IRA benefits and tax-deductibility features? Stay tuned . . . "Wall Street Week" tomorrow night hosts Morris Smith, Peter Lynch's replacement as portfolio manager of Fidelity Magellan Fund . . . Changing Times and U.S. News & World Report, both on newsstands this week, run excellent cover stories on buying and selling houses . . . Call Barry Sparks (717-848-8925) for a free list of specific suggestions on sharpening your job-hunting skills . . . "Difference between a 900 and an 800 number often amounts to the difference between a legitimate business and a rip-off." (Dollar Stretcher) . . . "You work all your life to reach a high tax bracket and then the government goes and lowers it on you." (Fixed Income Letter) . . . "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for." (Bits & Pieces)

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