Strong economic reports boost Dow 22.15 points


Pushed higher by strong economic reports and point-plus gains in AT&T;, American Express and Philip Morris, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 22.15 points yesterday, closing at 3,332.18. Volume remained heavy at 238 million shares.

WHAT NEXT? (In proportion received): "The stock market is approaching an intermediate-term peak in preparation for a larger-than-usual decline into late March." (Kirkpatrick & Co.) . . . "In 1993 the Fed will neither be friend nor foe to stocks, and this position will have a seriously negative impact." (Grandich Letter) . . . "After a three-month runup, the stock market is due for a consolidation, maybe even a correction. But there is plenty of money ready and willing to go into stocks, and this is bullish for the market." (Bert Dohmen's Wellington Letter) . . . "The U. S. stock market remains overvalued on any fundamental basis, with stocks selling at over 22 times earnings and yielding less than 3 percent. There is risk, caution warranted." (Adrian Dey's Investment Analyst)

TWO FAVORITES: "The stock market is between a rock and a hard place. With short-term interest rates near 30-year lows, many investors believe they have no choice except stocks, so money continues to flow into stock funds and those funds are obligated to buy stocks. Problem: Stocks are overvalued by nearly any historical yardstick. Advice: Always be on the lookout for stocks with accelerating earnings. Two we like are Skyline, a leading manufactured home builder, and Fieldcrest-Cannon, a producer of household textile products." (LaLoggia's Special Situation Report)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: In response to several requests, here are numbers to call to check on a broker's employment history and qualifications. Dial National Association of Securities Dealers at 800-289-9999. For a more complete history, call your state's securities division. The Maryland number is 576-6360. Telephone numbers for other states are available from the North American Securities Association at (202) 737-0900.

LOCAL SCENE: The Rothschild Company's Leon Raskin (539-4660) will send the firm's performance records if you phone. Since September 1973 inception, the firm's institutional funds gained 1,019.7 percent vs. the S&P; 500 stock index advance of 806.5 percent. For 1992 Rothschild accounts climbed 6.6 percent vs. S&P; gain of 7.6 percent. The report explains, "The S&P; index consists entirely of common stocks and does not include deduction of fees and commissions, while Rothschild accounts are balanced accounts (stocks and bonds) and performance figures are net of fees and commissions." The report includes graphs, charts and detailed footnotes.

MORE LOCAL: Myron Oppenheimer, investment chief, Security Trust-Maryland National Bank (244-6569), will mail his firm's Winter 1993 Investment Review. ("Stocks with significant above-average growth prospects should remain core holdings" and says, in effect, that interest rates are not too low to discourage you from buying bonds.) . . . Potomac Electric Power raised its dividend last week. . . . New local 12-month highs in last week's trading included Rouse and T. Rowe Price. . . . USF&G; is written up in S&P; "Outlook," Jan. 27 issue, under "Four Appealing Takeover Candidates." . . . Custom Savings, Chevy Chase Savings, Loyola Federal, Eastern Savings Bank and Maryland National Bank are named in "100 Highest Yields" for money funds and CDs in the publication's most recent issue.

ENTER FEBRUARY: "February, cold and drear/ longest month of every year." (Old rhyme) . . . National Business Employment Weekly, Jan. 29-Feb. 4, on newsstands this week, runs a useful story, "When You're Bypassed For a Promotion." ("Don't wait to be overlooked again; actively show your interest in moving up . . . Understand the underlying qualifications for the position you want . . . Don't quietly accept your fate; confront your employer about his/her decision; this will not be held against you.") . . . Each U. S. family's share of our national debt is $49,460, according to the "National Debt Clock" pictured in the National Geographic magazine, January. . . . The average TV commercial during Sunday's Super Bowl game cost $28,000 (no misprint) per second. . . . "Are insiders losing confidence in the stock market? Last week the "Vickers Weekly Insider Report" noted that its average eight-week ratio of sales to purchases by corporate insiders jumped to 3.29. Any ratio above 2.25 suggests a market decline." (Business Week, Feb. 8) . . . Workplace Wisdom: "Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish one's growth without destroying one's roots." (Bits & Pieces)

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