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Dow inches a bit higher


Backing and filling on light volume of 141 million shares, stocks inched ahead 4.70 points yesterday on the Dow Jones average, closing at 3,017.89, now up 385 points this year.

TAKE YOUR CHOICE: "Because the Federal Reserve is on Wall Street's side, stocks aren't headed for a fall. Never fight the Fed." (Martin Zweig) . . . "We're in an economic recovery, so earnings will rise, as will stocks. What's more, interest rates will // fall farther. Get out of cash and into stocks." (Mary Farrell) . . . "Stocks are overvalued relative to earnings, book value and dividends. Upside potential limited, downside risk large." (LaLoggia's Report) . . . "Tally ho, and look out below! Get ready to buy stocks at lower prices." (Investment Digest) . . . "When the P/E ratio for the S&P; 500 reaches 20, like now, it's a sure sign that earnings have catching up to do. Switch from growth to growth-and-income funds." (Fidelity Monitor)

BALTIMORE BEAT: "Average overall figures of 22 times earnings and three percent dividend yields are not positive and stocks are moving to overvaluation levels, providing little downside cushion." (Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust) . . . "Greatest values in stocks are those close to the business cycle, and most overvaluation lies in defensive growth stocks." (Investment Counselors of Maryland) . . . Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker (486-8010) will mail his firm's 35-page Mid-Atlantic Bank & Thrift Quarterly . . . Merry-Go-Round Enterprises is listed under "Stocks Recommended by 3 or More Newsletters That Outperformed the Wilshire 5000 Index Over Last 3 Years." . . . An 80-year Baltimorean recalls that mens' suits used to sell for $3.50 at Julius Gutman & Co. (my grandfather's store) and you could put them on "layaway" if you didn't have the full price when buying.

MARYLAND MEMOS: Weis Markets supermarket chain, rapidly expanding here, is listed under "Stocks That Have Been Ranked A-Plus Since 1981" in S&P; Outlook. Total return (gain plus income) on Weis stock was 406 percent for the decade . . . Harry B. Gorfine Co. (539-5474) will mail its "Making Withdrawals From Your IRA Before Age 59 1/2 " if you phone . . . Business people, take note: "Healthy Decisions," Bel Air, says, "Regarding response time, memory and mental flexibility, exercisers showed far better scores than non-exercisers." . . . Asked if his firm still feels the recession, art dealer Stanley Katzenstein replied, "People will spend $80,000 to send their kids to Harvard, but today they scream about shelling out $30 to have their diplomas framed." . . . Did you know that you can walk into any Motor Vehicle Administration office with a person's license number and get his or her address?

BALTIMORE & BEYOND: When I saw just the gray flannel, chalk-striped fall suit I was looking for in a Jos. A. Bank window, the salesman explained, "I can't sell you that suit, Mr. Westheimer, it's a second-hand, worn suit that was brought in on our $50 trade-in offer." ( Hearing that, someone quipped, "I hope you pick stocks better than suits.") . . . Moneypaper, September, says, "Black & Decker stock ran up sharply recently on a brokerage suggestion that B&D; will reach 25 in three months; we recommended it at 12. We now suggest people buy Bethlehem Steel." . . . "Most people 50 years old don't feel like senior citizens, yet that's when they qualify for senior discounts just about everywhere." ("If You're 50 or Older," $9, call 1-800-346-4889 to order).

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