After fast start, Dow closes up 11.73


Although the Dow Jones industrial average shot up 19 points by lunchtime yesterday and climbed briefly above the 3,600 mark, the popular indicator fell back in late trading. At the closing bell, the Dow held onto a gain of 11.73 points to close at 3,598.99, still ahead 300 points for the year to date.

STOCK TALK: "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." (Yale Professor Irving Fisher, Oct. 15, 1929, two weeks before the Big Crash) . . . "Bulls and bears aren't responsible for as many stock losses as bum steers." (Olin Miller) . . . "There are only two emotions in Wall Street: fear and greed." (William Lefevre, 1978.)

BEFORE YOU LEAP: Think your boss is tough? Fortune, Oct. 18, runs a cover story, "America's Toughest Bosses." Excerpts: "Linda Wachner, CEO, Warnaco (apparel manufacturer), asked the new company president, 'Have you fired anyone yet?' and when he answered, 'No,' she snapped, 'You'd better start firing people so they'll understand you're serious.' Her meetings can start as late as 5 p.m. and run until 1 a.m. . . . Herbert Haft, CEO, Dart Group, has had an intimidating, military style, such as, 'You do it because I say so.' In front of his children in business meetings, he called his wife stupid and crazy and declared she knew nothing about the business."

AUTUMN LEAVES: "Electric utility stocks have done very well as interest rates have come down, and they are still undervalued by roughly 20 percent on a historical basis, compared with the 30-year Treasury bond." (James Stratton, money manager) . . . The Kiplinger Washington Letter, Oct. 1, says that hotel and motel bargain rates are now available to many travelers, up to 50 percent off quoted prices for those belonging to travel clubs . . . The top 10 stocks favored by investment club members, according to a National Association of Investment Clubs survey, are McDonald's, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, AFLAC, Merck, Waste Management, Philip Morris, AT&T;, Abbott Labs and Walt Disney.

MARYLAND MEMOS: Denise Leish, a partner in Money Plans, Silver Spring, was asked, in effect, "If someone is investing on a regular basis, wouldn't it be wiser to get out of the market before the blood starts flowing?" She responded, in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, October, "Absolutely not. Not unless you know the day the market will crash -- and we don't know that. The market could stay strong for another two years and the investor would miss a lot of opportunity, plus be hit with a big tax xTC bill for capital gains on the stock sales." . . . T. Rowe Price's Science & Technology Fund and its New Asia Fund are listed under "The Best Returns" in Business Week, Oct. 11 . . . Rex Rehfeld, Baltimore office, Gruntal & Co., writes: "Though there are signs of impending deflation, let us hope that somehow it doesn't become a general condition. But the pressures are enough to make it doubtful that inflation should be a major concern in setting monetary or investment policies."

LOCAL HONOR ROLL: The following Maryland firms are listed in INC magazine's October cover story, "The 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies," with, following each firm's name, its ranking in the 500: Abacus Technology, 389; Apex Environmental, 141; CMG Health, 191; Decision Systems Technologies, 50; Digicon, 37; Fastrak Training, 335; Futron, 116; HTS Environmental Group, 85; Information Systems and Services, 79; ISYX LAN Systems, 260; Maryland Screen Printers, 268; RDA Consultants Ltd., 178; ROW Sciences, 282; RWD Technologies, 91; Trandes, 65;and Value Added Distribution, 76. The magazine quotes Baltimorean Robert Deutsch, CEO of RWD Technologies, "I have no desire to retire. The idea of retirement indicates you'd like something better. I like what I'm doing now."

STOCK WATCH: "Interest rates will decline again, but the market will remain susceptible to volatility ahead. Thirty-year Treasury bond yields will fall to new lows by mid-1994, and T-bill yields will drop to 2 percent." (Industry Forecast) . . . "The CD 'sticker-shock' phenomenon probably ended in August (short rates were no lower this August than last August), so that the bulk of 'yield-seeking money' for mutual funds has probably been spent. With a full new-issue calendar ahead, this means a less positive supply/demand situation." (Bear Stearns Investment Strategy) . . . "What is the market telling us when small items equal big price changes? Is it telling us that there's no cushion in current prices? That surprises will be on the downside? It tells us that stocks are so high-priced that nothing less than the fullness of estimates will sustain itself. This is unsurpassed bear market stuff." (Dear Dow Newsletter.)

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