Oil stocks up, but Dow barely budges In last 12 months, indicator rises 9%

Although oil stocks surged on news that the OPEC cartel agreed to limit production, the Dow Jones industrial average barely budged yesterday. The Dow indicator edged up 0.28 to close at 3,566.30, showing a gain of 295 points, or 9 percent, in the roller-coaster year since Sept. 30, 1992.

MONEY TALKS: "October is an especially dangerous month in which to speculate in stocks. So are November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August and September." (Overheard somewhere)


TRIVIA QUIZ: With the Orioles' season winding down -- and one bright spot Cal Ripken's uninterrupted playing streak -- would you like to guess where the Dow Jones industrials stood on May 30, 1982, on the day the star shortstop's playing streak began? Read on.

BALTIMORE BEAT: Want to know how the new tax bill affects your pocketbook? Dean Witter's Larry Adam will send you a fine booklet, "The Dean Witter Investor's Guide to The 1993 Tax Bill" if you phone 547-7030 or write him c/o his firm at 250 W. Pratt St., Baltimore 21201. The brochure contains valuable charts, specific examples and a very readable text . . . The following stocks with local connections reached 12-month highs earlier this week: Alex. Brown, CSX, Marriott, Martin Marietta, Primerica and the Rouse Co. . . . U.S. Surgical stock, widely held in this area, is mentioned in Forbes, Oct. 11, in David Dreman's column, as follows: "When you buy a growth stock, you are betting that security analysts' earnings expectations will be on the mark. But they seldom are. High-flying U.S. Surgical dropped 84 percent when analysts cut their 1993 earnings estimates from $3 a share to 60 cents."


MONTH-END MEMOS: The Kiplinger Washington Letter says that you can figure on a 2.6 percent boost in Social Security benefits in January. . . . The letter also warns that the IRS is tightening up on charitable giving beginning Jan. 1, with rrTC receipt required in addition to your canceled check . . . If you want a "Government Auctions/Sales manual," a handy guide to auctions of surplus government property, send a $10 check or money order to McKee Co., 5910 S. University Blvd., Suite 6033, Littleton, Colo. 80121 . . . "Buy dry cereal only if the price is less than eight cents an ounce; it can run as high as 20 cents." ("The Tightwad Gazette.") . . . "Each of the following stocks currently is recommended by three or more newsletters that outperformed the Wilshire 5000 index over the past 60 months: Applied Materials, Cabletron, Cisco Systems, Computer Associates, Electronic Arts, Motorola and Synoptics." (Hulbert Financial Digest)

MONEY-SAVER: "What To Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer" is worth reading in Money magazine, October. The article suggests you ask these questions: Do you really need a lawyer? ("In some cases you could take your case to small-claims court without a lawyer.") Does the lawyer have enough experience? ("One sign is whether the lawyer is armed with a selection of sample documents; less time drafting documents should equal lower bills.") How long will it take? ("If the lawyer is drafting documents, you should see a version within three weeks.") How much will it cost? ("Before meeting face-to-face, ask about fees.") Suggestion: The American Bar Association offers a guide, "The American Lawyer: When and How to Use One," ($4.50). Send check or money order to: American Bar Association, Order Fulfillment Department, 750 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill. 60611.

QUIZ ANSWER: On the day that Cal Ripken's playing streak began, May 30, 1982, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 819.54. The Dow has more than quadrupled in those 11 years and four months.

STOCK WATCH: "Watch out for the October massacre, is the bears' rallying cry. During the last three years October on average was down about 1.4 percent, so we're talking about 50-odd Dow Jones points, not a major event." (Moskowitz Capital Consulting Strategy) . . . "A correction of 5-8 percent is in the offing. However, we believe that the market's next move to the downside will be only a correction and not the start of any great bear market." (Mutual Fund Letter) . . . "As our technician colleague Marty Zweig never ceases to intone, wisely, 'Don't fight the Fed.' If the Fed now thinks that maybe stock prices are too high, run, don't walk, to the exits." (Yankee Prognostics) . . . "We now change our market position from bullish to bearish. We regard the market as overvalued despite low interest rates. In such a state stocks are highly vulnerable to bad news and although we don't expect a 1987-style crash, the decline could exceed 20 percent." (Arie Vilner's Rational Investment Outlook) . . . "The incredible bond rally may have finally stalled. Enough technical warning signals have been given to warrant some profit-taking." (Futures Trends) . . . "One reason for the market's strength is falling interest rates, but the market is also saying that corporate earnings will skyrocket." (Cabot Market Letter) . . . "Interest rates are not driving this market, greed is. Given current valuations, it is obvious that the cash now entering the market is oblivious to risk." (Crosscurrents, H. D. Brous & Co.) . . . "The newly-legislated higher tax rates do not deter our bullishness. In fact, the stock market could actually benefit from the steeper rates because the tax rate on capital gains remains unchanged, and that wider gulf between income and capital gains rates will encourage more people to buy stocks." (Market Maneuvers)