Lower rates help spur Dow to record 3,469.42


Stocks surged yesterday, with the Dow Jones industrial average rocketing 64.84 points and ending the busy session at a record 3,469.42, eclipsing its previous peak of 3,442.14 set Feb. 5. Higher foreign markets, lower interest rates and institutional portfolio "window dressing" with popular stocks accounted for much of the rise.

MARYLAND MEMOS: Locally managed Greenspring Fund is listed under "Mutual Fund Scorecard: Top 15 Growth Performers" by Lipper Analytical Services. The fund showed a total return (gain plus income) of 18 percent for 52 weeks. A footnote says that this fund has always ranked high in "bear" (down) markets. For details, phone Corbyn Associates' Michael Godack (823-5353) . . . Washington Gas Light, Signet and Marriott Corp. reached 12-month highs last week . . . T. Rowe Price International Fund is mentioned favorably under "Funds Grouped According To Your Investment Goals" in S&P; Outlook, March 3. For details, phone 1 (800) 638-5660 or (410) 547-2000.

FATTER CHECKS: These blue-chip firms are included under "Where Five Percent-Plus Dividend Increases are Expected" in same S&P; Outlook: Coca-Cola, Heinz, Hershey Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo, Quaker Oats, Sara Lee, TJX Companies (T. J. Maxx Stores), Schering Plough and Waste Management. (It's interesting how many food and beverage stocks are included; many analysts feel companies which produce consumables are recession-resistant.)

FACELESS KIDS: "I don't pick funds, I pick fund managers. I look at the numbers and decide whether they're repeatable. If not, I dismiss them. After screening thousands of managers on performance, our staff conducts intensive interviews with 300 of the best ones and their colleagues each year. I want to know about intelligence, broken marriages, work habits, friction with partners -- anything that would affect fund management. I like workaholics. The perfect fund manager is a guy who can't pick his kids out in a police lineup." (Michael Stolper, author of "Wealth: An Owner's Manual," interviewed in Fortune, March 22, on newsstands this week).

WALL STREET WATCH: "We'll have good growth under Clinton, but I won't sleep nights if he doesn't get his spending cuts through. My stock favorites are Chrysler, Home Depot, Intel and Telefonos de Mexico. Drug stocks are too uncertain. Real estate is close to the bottom. We're aggressive bond buyers now." (Robert Day, chairman, Trust Co. of The West, for which he manages $4 billion in assets.) . . . "Investors are convinced that inflation is contained and that earnings will rise this year. Stay clear of tobacco and health care stocks." (Mary Farrell) . . . "The bull market in stocks is intact but bonds are close to the top." (Michael Holland). Above quotes from "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser.

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Reminder: Only five weeks left before your income tax returns are due . . . Free tax-return help is available to persons age 60 and over who need last-minute assistance but can't afford professional advice. For the AARP-sponsored "Tax-Aide" program site nearest you, dial 1 (800) TAX-1040 . . . "Wall Street loves, or at least likes, the new president, so far at least. Treasury bonds have been doing well since the election with 30-year bond yields falling from 7.6 percent to 6.7 percent, lowest in several decades. The administration is considering reducing the supply of new bonds, a move which could force rates down even lower." (Fortune, March 22) . . . "Buy Treasury bonds now. When the pros noted that Alan Greenspan was seated next to Hillary Rodham Clinton, their bullishness on long-term Treasuries soared. The yield on the government 30-year benchmark bond is heading to 6 percent." (Matthew Winkler, editor, Bloomberg Business News, Forbes, March 15) . . . "When you look at the numbers, you might conclude that the stock market looks high, but it looked high in 1960 too." (R. S. Salomon, chairman, Salomon Bros. Asset Management) . . . "By putting his business logo on his leather motorcycle jacket, an individual was able to deduct the cost of the jacket as a business expense." (Tax Hotline) . . . "The time is right to buy oil stocks, namely British Petroleum and USX-Marathon." (Dessauer's Journal) . . . "For effective performance, provide written job descriptions and continual verbal follow-up, insuring that employees know what they're supposed to do." (Medical Economics.)

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