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Durable orders boost the Dow


Following a strong durable goods report, the Dow Jones average gained 6 points yesterday, closing at 3,370.44. Looking back, we note that when the Johnny Carson "Tonight" show first aired 30 years ago last Monday, the Dow index closed at 576.93.

AND NOW WHERE? "It's hardly surprising that the Dow Jones industrials are challenging yet another round number, this time 3,400. While the intransigent bears insist, as they have with each new market milestone, that stocks are simply too high, most investors are too busy focusing on factors which make this a very bullish period." (R.H.M. Survey). . . . "Magicians and illusionists fool us with smoke and mirrors. Inexperienced investors are being fooled by nominal new highs in the Dow industrials, giving the illusion that the market is moving upward. But the trend is only up in the Dow. The broad market has peaked and the primary stock trend is turning downward." (Investment Quality Trends.)

LOCAL VIEWS: "While we feel that corporate profits should rebound from last year's depressed levels, we remain a bit cautious on the overall market. Primary reason: lofty expectations already built into stock prices." (Charles Knudsen, First National Bank). . . . "Our economic outlook is more positive than that of most observers; we believe corporate profits will be above expectations." (Craig Lewis, Investment Counselors of Maryland.)

MORE LOCAL: "We continue to believe that for the long term, especially in a low-inflation, low-interest rate environment, high quality, stable earnings growth companies are the stocks to own. Ultimately, stock prices follow earnings higher. Also, tax-free municipal bonds are much more attractive than they were when short-term Treasury rates peaked a few months ago." (Myron Oppenheimer, Security Trust/Maryland National Bank.) For Mr. Oppenheimer's full letter, phone 244-6590

LOOKING AHEAD: Tomorrow night, "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser" examines stocks' technical outlook with Jeffrey Weiss, technical analyst with Shearson Lehman, and panelists Ralph Acampora, Mary Farrell and Bernadette Murphy. . . . On Tuesday, Baltimore Security Analysts present Ed Hyman from ISI Group, speaking on "The State of the Economy" at the Hyatt RTC Hotel at noon. . . . On Wednesday, I will answer your financial questions on "Lunch with Allan Prell," WBAL Radio, 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. . . . On June 4, Shapiro & Olander hosts an educational breakfast on "Fundamentals of Securities Law for Professionals," For details call Kerstin French, 385-4235.

MARYLAND & MORE: According to "100 Highest Yields" (May 25), the top local money fund and CDA interest rates are now at Custom Savings, Washington Savings Bank (Waldorf), Equitable Federal Savings (Wheaton), Chevy Chase Savings and Loyola Federal Savings & Loan. . . . Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb and Philip Morris are recommended by eight newsletters followed by Hulbert Financial Digest. . . . Locally, Potomac Electric Power is selected by four newsletters for purchase. The stock now yields 6 1/2 percent. . . . "Getting late in uptrend; watch carefully" is the comment on Black & Decker by Professional Tape Reader. . . . Procter & Gamble, which operates a manufacturing facility here, is included in the latest "Recommended Stocks" special issue of Standard & Poor's Outlook. . . . "Easier mortgages are now available for first-time home buyers. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. has now clarified its underwriting guidelines to encourage banks to qualify more mortgage applicants." (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., McLean, Va.). . . . "To get higher yields in spite of lower interest rates, many investors are making riskier investments. Better: pay off old debts (car loans, etc.) to profit by paying less interest instead of trying to earn more." (Wall Street Journal). . . . "The bull market that began in October, 1990, was sparked by the prospect of economic recovery and low interest rates. Problem ahead: recovery has been discounted and low rates seem to have run their course." (Barron's). . . . June in Wall Street has historically been an "up" month, rising an average 0.3 percent over 41 years. . . ."

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