Continuing to push into new high ground, the Dow Jones industrial average added 6.22 points yesterday, closing at a record 3,478.34.
Looking back, here's where the Dow stood on Jan. 1 of the following years: this year, 3,301; in 1992, 3,168; in 1991, 2,633.
BALTIMORE BEAT: Want to know more about USF&G; and its stock? Ask your broker to take you to the Security Analysts meeting on March 17, Tremont Hotel (8 E. Pleasant St.) at noon, where the speaker will be Norman Blake Jr., CEO and chairman of the board of the giant local insurance company. . . . Myron Oppenheimer, investment strategist, Security Trust/Maryland National Bank says, "Market price-earnings ratio is approaching a relatively high level that has rarely been sustained [but] on the positive side is the plunge in interest rates and massive cost-cutting by firms which should finally pay off for American industry." . . . "Our asset allocation still slightly favors stocks over bonds, with a minimum in cash." (Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co.)
MORE ON BALTIMORE: Mrs. Mildred Schwartzman reminds me that when she worked for the Hutzler Bros. store in 1941 the store paid $1 for each suggestion that was adopted. She goes on, "I suggested that the store conserve paper by using both sides of printed forms, where practicable, and they paid me my dollar but they took out a penny for Social Security -- it was 1 percent then -- and gave me a check for only 99 cents!" . . . Several local Procter & Gamble employees have called me stating that they have received a letter from P&G;'s Cincinnati headquarters announcing the elimination of direct stock purchases by people not employed or retired from the firm, but current employees and retirees are not affected. The dividend reinvestment program continues for all shareholders.
STILL MORE: Speaking of buying stock without paying a broker's commission, did you know that you may buy BG&E; stock directly from the company, commission free, up to $3,000 worth each quarter, provided you own at least one share in your own name already? . . . Investment Counselors of Maryland (Craig Lewis) says, "We are puzzled by the bond market's strength because (1) historically, interest rates do not move in line with changes in the Federal deficit, (2) Clinton might not get his plan passed as proposed, and (3) there are some signs of increasing inflation."
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: National Business Employment Weekly, March 5-11 issue, on newsstands this week, runs a good story, "Try Using 'Props' During Interview Presentations." Excerpts: "Work samples and other documents display your talents, reveal your style and make you a more memorable candidate. Consider using them. . . . You don't have to be in an artistic field to provide samples of your work. . . . If you decide to bring an artifact or ornament of recognition, make sure it's not too obtrusive or corny. . . . A young consultant from Delta Air Lines produced a thick binder of material; his 'career book' contained data of various projects he'd successfully designed and helped display his trouble-shooting skills."
MARCH WINDS: Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" spotlights "The Economy and Clinton" with guest John Lipsky, chief economist, Salomon Bros., and panelists Howard (Pete) Colhoun, James Grant and Martin Zweig. . . . "When men and women take adjacent seats in an airline or in a movie, the man hogs the armrest 90 percent of the time." (CNN News) . . . In the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area C&P; telephone book, there are 41 listings for Clinton, 188 Bushes and no one listed under Perot except, "Perot, Ross, campaign headquarters." . . . "Sadly, the new Clinton program does little to cure what is widely perceived as the nation's number one financial problem: the enormous Federal deficit." (Mutual Fund Forecaster)
WALL ST. WATCH: "All of the political and tax policy uncertainties may bring more corrections in the stock market." (A. G. Edwards & Sons) . . . "High volume leading to the recent top probably provided that last good opportunity for money managers to get out of over-the-counter stocks." (Global Market Perspective) . . . "Stock and bond markets have been defying gravity so long that shortly I expect to rise off my chair by waving some shares and voicing that magical incantation, 'Lower interest rates!' " (Mogambu Guru) . . . "A terrific investment got a lot less so on March 1 when the Treasury Dept. dropped the guaranteed interest rate [on U.S. savings bonds] from six percent to four percent." (U.S. News & World Report, March 15) . . . "Become more humble as the market goes your way." (Bernard Baruch) . . . "Too much success in the market is in itself an excellent warning." (Gerald Loeb)