In moderate pre-holiday trading, the Dow Jones average lost 38 points on Wednesday, closing at 2,934.70. Five years ago on Independence Day the DJ stood at 1,909.03 and on July 4, 1981, the Dow indicator was at 959.19. (Can we expect a 1,000 point gain every five years?)
Historically, July has been a fairly strong Wall Street month, the year's sixth best, up an average 0.9 percent over 40 years. And this year? "Stocks will consolidate big recent gains; now we need earnings growth to push higher." (Harvey Eisen) . . . "We need better signs that the economy will recover, earnings will grow and interest rates drop; 10-year bonds look tempting." (Alan Bond). Above comments made on "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser," 21 of whose 27 panelists are beating the Dow with their stock selections for December 31, 1991, made six months ago. Tonight, W$W spotlights utility stocks with panelists Martin Zweig, Mary Farrell and Mr. Ticker.
HALF-WAY: As noted Monday, Carl Quoss, Arbutus, leads our annual Dow Jones forecasting contest. At the half-way mark he's nearest to the June 30 Dow Jones closing of 2,906.75 with his 2,907 forecast for year-end, but we have six months to go. At this point, runners-up are John Barry, 2,906; Gil Zemlak, 2,908; Herbert Moses, 2,909; Helen Weaver, 2,904; Ivan Quinter, 2,910; Marlene Cohen, 2,910; Lester Van Asdlen, 2,910; Bill Bricker,2,910; Kitty Sisnz, 2,903; Philip Voelkek, 2,911; Henry Blum, 2,911. No decimals were allowed. Stay tuned.
BALTIMORE BEAT: Myron Oppenheimer, investment chief, Security Trust/Maryland National Bank, writes, "The Maryland Legislature recently passed a law allowing trust funds to invest in mutual funds, and many banks are doing this." . . . "We recommend that mutual fund investors keep 15 percent of their stock holdings in T. Rowe Price New Asia Fund." (Bob Brinker's Marketimer) . . . BG&E; is out with a fine 30-page brochure,"The First 175 Years: A Pictorial History of the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., 1816 to 1991." Phone or write BG&E;'s Corporate Affairs Department for a free copy, an ideal illustrated publication for youngsters and adults. . . . Phone Harry B. Gorfine Co. (539-5474) for July Tax Report with midyear strategies, plus table showing what your marginal tax rate is, based on various taxable income levels.
MARYLAND MEMOS: "Average return in U.S. dollars from European markets was 465 percent during the 1980s vs. 381 percent from U.S. stocks." (Dean Witter's "Case for Global Equities," which Jack Rosenbloom, 547-7091, will mail you) . . . A local broker told me that only 30 percent of eligible workers use 401(k) accounts, and only 40 percent do when company matches employees' contributions.
HOLIDAY HASH: The New Yorker, July 8, runs one of its rare business articles, "Predicting the Economy" by economist Robert Heilbroner. . . . Overheard at Vellegia's restaurant, Towson: "President Bush has started jogging again. Sununu has the car." . . . Somebody unearthed a local brokerage firm's municipal bond list dated February 21, 1963. Excerpts: Baltimore County 2 1/4 percent due 1965; Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission 3 percent due 1979; Talbot County, Md. 3.30 percent due 1975; State of West Virginia 1 percent due 1964 at 98 cents on the dollar. . . . "Statistics are like expert witnesses; they will testify for either side." (Bits & Pieces) . . . Want to write a Congressperson? A complete directory of Congress is yours with names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., for $12.95 from Braddock Communications, 909 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Va., 22314 . . . "Losing potential profits hurts only the ego; losing money really hurts." (Gerald Appel) . . . "Every successful trader is a master of psychology." (Stock Trader's Almanac) . . . "I always worry when bargains are hard to find; that's when markets are fully valued and stocks drop." (W. J. Maeck)