The Dow Jones industrial average forged ahead 13.56 points yesterday to close at a record high of 3,482.31. Despite the shaky economy, the Dow stands 181 points, or 5.4 percent, above its New Year's Day level. Main reason: many people are buying high-yielding stocks instead of renewing low-yielding CDs.
WALL ST. WISDOM: "'It hasn't hit bottom yet,' some analysts said after U.S. Surgical's sharp drop to the low 30s. Yet one suspects that some analysts said it hadn't hit its top when the stock reached its high of $132 last year. A few days before U.S. Surgical's plunge, Philip Morris dropped 23 percent. It's not surprising that analysts tend to be over-optimistic in a rising market, but it's disconcerting how badly the market savages an overpriced stock. Few conditions are worse for investors than an overpriced market in a weak economy." (Rex Rehfeld, Baltimore office, Gruntal & Co.)
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Want to buy a top-flight mutual fund with just one thousand dollars? Here are names and phone numbers you may call for a prospectus of funds with $1,000 minimums, in some cases less: Nicholas Fund (414-272-6133); Berger One Hundred (800-333-1001); Twentieth Century International (800-345-2021); Janus Fund (800-525-8983) . . . "If you're going to cash in EE savings bonds for college tuition, have them registered in a parent's name, not the child's name. Keeping them in a parent's name, on bonds purchased after 1989, helps to escape federal income taxes. If bonds are in a child's name you don't get the federal tax break." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, June)
MONEY SAVERS: "You can start a business with just a home computer for less than $2,000. Examples: Resume preparation, word processing, message service, computer instruction, bill collection, etc." ("Hers: The Wise Woman's Guide to Starting a Business on $2,000" by Carol Milano, $12.95) . . . "Over 90 percent of hospital bills contain errors, most of which are in the hospital's favor. Keep records of doctors' visits, medications, tests, etc., and compare them with your bill." ("Take This Book to the Hospital With You" by Charles Inlander, $7.95) . . . "Avoid locking up more than half of your portfolio in long-term investments (seven years or more) because interest rates will likely rise later this year as government spending rises and the economy picks up, causing bond prices to decline." (John Rutledge, economist)
BALTIMORE BITS: For a bullish report on a local company, Cosmetic Centers, call David Clogg, president, Chapin, Davis at 435-3200. ("We are very attracted to this company and believe Cosmetic Centers has potential to attract much attention with its store growth and unique store focus.") . . . Legg Mason says of Black & Decker, "We continue to rate this stock a buy; the company is on the verge of a major upturn in earnings, assuming only a modest economic recovery." For the full report, phone Gerald Scheinker at 486-8010 . . . "Why Clintonomics is Wrong" is the title of tomorrow night's locally-produced "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser," featuring guest Lawrence Kudlow, chief economist, Bear Stearns, and panelists Howard (Pete) Colhoun, Louis Holland and Carter Randall . . . Baltimore-based Crown Central Petroleum stock is listed under "Caboose Stocks: Petroleum" in a Forbes, May 24 article headed, "The best performing industries are so expensive that they have nowhere to go. Conclusion: buy these weakest industries." . . . T. Rowe Price New America Growth Fund is listed under "The 100 Best Funds for Growth" in "Money Guide, summer 1993 issue."
MAY FLOWERS: "Government should be small, taxes invisible and the public debt paid." (Thomas Jefferson) . . . "Stocks that allow you to 'sleep well' in the 1990s include Wal-Mart, Nike, Motorola and MCI Communications," says investment adviser Alan Bond. And Gabelli Growth Fund's Elizabeth Bramwell adds these names: CPC International, Colgate-Palmolive, GM Hughes and Nestle. David Dreman weighs in with Federal National Mortgage and Bristol-Myers Squibb . . . "You can sue a discount broker for losses suffered from bad advice even though discounters claim not to give advice. Dennis Johnson received an arbitrator's award of $212,000 from the discounter Quick & Reilly after alleging that its brokers advised him to make risky investments." (Wall Street Journal) . . . "Banks are selling mutual funds to capture money not going into CD renewals because of low rates. Unlike CDs, though, these mutual funds aren't federally insured. Plus, they come with high commissions." (Moneypaper, May) . . . "Some Stocks I Would Look at Now: The Fallout in Growth Stocks Provides Great Opportunities" by David Dreman in Forbes, May 24, include Philip Morris, National Medical Enterprises, Apple Computer and Syntex . . . The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter says President Clinton's health care program could crumble from its own weight, adding that the cost could top $100 billion . . . "Most analysts think the Nikkei average, which bottomed at 14,300 last August and now stands at almost 21,000, shouldn't drop much below 18,000." (U.S. News & World Report, May 17)