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Stocks reach another high


Advancing 25 1/2 points yesterday, the Dow Jones average edged to another record high. When Wall Street opened this morning the Dow indicator stood at 3,283.32. Five years ago today the DJ closed at 2,212.04.

AND NOW WHERE? "Over the last 40 years, March has shown an average 1.1 percent gain in the S&P; 500-stock index, fifth best month of the year. 'In like a lion, out like a lamb' describes its typically stronger first half than second." (1992 Stock Trader's Almanac). . . . "Because the collapse of short-term interest rates has been the biggest factor in the last 12 months' bull market, stocks may be vulnerable as rates rise. And there are signs that the rate drop is ending." (New York Times, Feb. 23). . . . "The Fed's reserve requirement cut is very bullish; we're 86 percent long in stocks." (Zweig Forecast)

MARYLAND MEMOS: Highest area money market and insured CD yields are now at Custom Savings (Baltimore), Eastern Savings Bank (Hunt Valley), Equitable Federal Savings (Wheaton), Republic Savings Bank (Rockville), Washington Savings Bank (Waldorf) and American Federal Savings Bank (Rockville). Data from 100 Highest Yields, Feb. 24. . . . Black & Decker stock touched a new 12-month high at midweek. . . . Marriott Corp. is listed under "Don't Buy, But Don't Sell, Either" in S&P; Outlook, Feb. 19. . . .

FEBRUARY FINAL: Last week in St. Croix, in the Caribbean, our taxi driver scared the life out of us as he intensely watched "The Young and The Restless" soap opera on his --board TV while he whizzed us around the island. . . . The cashier at the Hotel Sofitel, Miami, told me that the hotel demands a $50 check-in deposit for "incidentals and other charges" because otherwise one out of six guests skips out on the bill. . . . Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, 411 Cathedral St., at the corner of Franklin, desperately needs dish detergent, paper cups, bleach, Parmesan cheese, lunch meats, hot sauce, money and (tragically) baby food. . . . To find A.M. Best & Co. quality rating of your insurance company, phone (908) 439-2200.

MONEY SAVER: "Don't wait for your credit card company to lower your rate, but if you want a better rate call customer service at the bank that issued your card. Some banks have another credit card program that offers lower rates, but the plan isn't generally widely publicized. If you aren't getting satisfaction, threaten to switch to another card issuer. Also, phone (800) 553-8025 to order a 'Fair Deal' list of banks with lowest card rates, $4." (Bankcard Holders of America.)

LOOKING BACK: "Size allows General Motors to set prices for automobiles, trucks, etc., and be secure in the knowledge that no individual buyer can force a change. GM decisions are final." (Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith in "The New Industrial State," 1967.)

LOOKING AHEAD: Tomorrow night, "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser" spotlights oil stocks with panelists Harvey Eisen, William Gross, Martin Zweig. . . . Tuesday, Baltimore Security Analysts Society is host to Ronnie Hampel, chief operating XTC officer of Imperial Chemical Industries, at the Tremont Hotel at noon. . . . "We will maintain a core of stable growth companies that should do well even if the recovery is anemic or nonexistent." (First National Bank of Maryland). . . . T. Rowe Price International Stock Fund falls under "Buy List of Mutual Funds" in S&P; Outlook. . . . BG&E; and Washington Gas Light are listed under "Utility Favorites for Income" in Geraldine Weiss' Investment Quality Trends. . . .

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