Nervous investors drove stocks down again yesterday. The Dow Jones average skidded 26 points to close at 3,152.25, now off 120 points in the last five days and 16 points below its Jan. 1, 1992 level.
WHAT NEXT? "The year's greatest surprise is about to unfold. The market is about to explode on a renewed bullish course." (Cabot Letter) . . . "Does historical precedent suggest that either a Bush or Clinton victory would affect stocks? Since 1900, post-election years have seen stocks on average rise under 3 percent, regardless of which party won." (Plain Talk Investor) . . . "The Dow Jones average is trading at 57 times current earnings. One month prior to the 1987 Crash, this figure was only 21." (Michael Pinson's Digest) . . . "Since the majority is always wrong, do the opposite. Remain committed to stocks while others worry about the election and its aftermath." (Norman L. Yu & Co.)
AUTUMN ADVICE: "What should you do if your favorite stock takes a big, unjustified hit? My advice: Wait." (David Dreman in Forbes, Oct. 12) . . . "It's time to send your money overseas. With U.S. stocks very richly priced at 24.5 times earnings, you could do better in other countries' stock markets, such as The Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal and Thailand." (Joshua Mendes in Fortune, Oct. 19) . . . "It has been a long time since long-term, tax-free municipal bonds were as attractive as they are now." (Matthew Winkler, bond specialist) . . . "I never buy at the bottom and I always sell too soon." (Baron Rothschild's success formula) . . . "The worst crime against working people is a company that fails to make a profit." (Samuel Gompers.)
BALTIMORE BITS: Ferris, Baker Watts' Michael Dougherty will mail you "In a Dog Eat Dog World, You Need a Big Dog," showing the need for varied research reports and where to get them. Phone 659-4677 . . . Call Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker, 486-8010, for his firm's 35-page "Mid-Atlantic Bank & Thrift Quarterly," with charts, graphs and recommendations . . . I answer your financial questions weekdays at 6:15 a.m. and Saturdays at 8:15 a.m. on WBAL-TV (Channel 11). Phone 481-8844 . . . Tomorrow night, locally produced "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" spotlights growth stocks with guest Roger Engemann and panelists Frank Cappiello, Louis Holland and Maceo Sloan.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Rothschild Co., one of Baltimore's top investment advisory firms, has just issued its latest client letter, "Thoughts on Investing Under a Clinton Presidency." Excerpts: "Financial markets have been wrestling with uncertainty of the Presidential election and the prospect of a Clinton victory . . . If Clinton becomes President, and can mobilize Congress, the next four years will be vastly different (and) the Bush portfolio will not be effective in meeting your needs. A 'Clinton portfolio' may require our re-examining yesterday's best-performing companies . . . Clinton has proposed increased Federal spending, substantial tax breaks for the poor and middle-class. He would pay for this by increasing taxes on 'the rich' . . . The prospect of a Clinton Presidency must be factored into any current investment thinking." For the full letter, write The Rothschild Co., 32 South St., Balto., Md., 21202, or phone 539-4660.
FALLING LEAVES: "Toy stocks were the best performers in September, rising 11.9 percent, as investors focused on what promises to be a good Christmas for makers of non-electronic playthings." (S&P; Outlook, Oct. 7) . . . Biogen, Jacobs Engineering, Novell and Wal-Mart Stores are written up under "Four Attractive Growth Stocks to Accumulate" in same Outlook . . . C.J. Lawrence Growth Stock Focus List includes Circus Circus Enterprises, CML Group, Microsoft, Novell, Promus Companies, Rollins Environmental, Ryan's Family Steak Houses, Stewart & Stevenson and Waste Management . . . Zweig Forecast, just received, says, "Election and German tight money present some risk although the regular indicators overall are OK . . . Latest Kiplinger Washington Letter, received Monday, feels that the Bush-Clinton gap will narrow a bit in the weeks ahead, that the debates will give Bush a renewed opportunity and that the new uncertainties give the President a last chance to narrow the spread . . . American Home Products stock is listed under "Editor's Choice" in Investor's Digest. The company has raised its dividend for 40 consecutive years . . . The Prudent Speculator's publisher, Al Frank, praises impressive valuation numbers exhibited by out-of-favor brokerage firm Bear Stearns, in a guest article for The Hume Money Letter . . . Did you realize that the Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates more than 20 times since 1989?