Stocks in late pullback Dow gains 4 Health care issues register advances


Although stocks pulled back near the close yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average managed to finish with a slim gain. The blue-chip indicator edged up 4.47 points to close at 3,647.90. Many health care and furniture issues registered substantial advances.

WALL STREET WISDOM: "Slow and steady wins the race." (Aesop) . . . "I always know it's time to get out of the market when my barber gives me tips to buy." (Anonymous Baltimorean) . . . "Gentlemen prefer bonds." (Andrew Mellon, 1926.)

LOCAL FREEBIES: Phone Security Trust Co. Vice President DTC Myron Oppenheimer (244-6590) for his worthwhile comments in the bank's Fall Investment Review. Excerpt: "We realize that a stock market correction could occur, but we find several indicators against it. The lack of competition from investment alternatives, the large amount of cash in mutual funds and improving corporate profitability will all moderate any drop and avoid anything close to the 1987 experience." . . . Legg Mason's 28-page Research Weekly, which the firm (539-3400) will send you, comments on 38 stocks, including BG&E; ("A high-quality utility yielding 5.6 percent with below-average risk and above-average dividend growth."); Mid-Atlantic Medical Services ("We are impressed with management's ability to deliver excellent numbers; the stock will be split three for two on Nov. 19.") and Environmental Elements Corp. ("We continue to believe this firm has the financial strength to weather the recent slowdown.")

MARYLAND MEMOS: Computer Data Systems (Rockville) and Micros Systems (Beltsville) are listed under "Where to Find the Best Small Companies in America" in Forbes' Nov. 8 cover story "Identifying Tomorrow's Winners" . . . USF&G; is mentioned in S&P; Outlook, Nov. 3, under "Rising Stars" as follows: "The stock of this insurer is down 32 percent this year so far, but appears attractive in light of improving property-casualty results." . . . CSX and Mid-Atlantic Medical stocks reached yearly highs in recent trading; Delmarva Power & Light, Marriott International, Mid-Atlantic Realty and NationsBank dipped to 12-month lows . . . T. Rowe Price Assoc. stock is listed in "The Patient Investor," showing recent fiscal year earnings of $2.37 a share and $2.99 estimated for the comparable period next year . . . Black & Decker is written up at length in Fortune's Autumn-Winter Special Issue, just out, under "A Star is Born: How B&D; Spotted a Great Big Market Opportunity and Created a Product Line to Grab It."

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Easy tax deduction to miss: If you're refinancing your mortgage again to take advantage of low interest rates, most of the points paid to refinance the first time can be written off. Example: A person who pays $3,000 in points to refinance a 30-year, $100,000 mortgage is allowed to deduct the points over the life of the loan -- in this case, $100 a year. If it were refinanced two years later, the $2,800 not yet deducted could be written off that year." (George Barbee, executive director, Price Waterhouse Client Services.) . . . "The IPO (Initial Public Offering) party is reaching binge proportions. The wise investor will refuse that last drink and go quietly home." (David Dreman in Forbes, Nov. 8.)

NOVEMBER NUGGETS: "The Dow Jones industrial average may be up nearly 10 percent this year but there are big pockets of market weakness. One-third of publicly traded stocks priced at or above $5 are down 20 percent or more." (Merrill Lynch newsletter) . . . "Some reasons to sell stocks are: (1) You lose faith in management; (2) The stock price is no longer reasonable in relation to fundamentals, such as earnings and dividends; (3) External forces are unfavorable; (4) You need to diversify your holdings or adjust for your changing risk tolerance." (Business Week) . . . Baltimore is listed No. 2 under "What the Taxman Takes in Big Cities: Lightest Tax Burden" in Business Week, Nov. 15, on newsstands this week . . . When I note NYSE daily volume climbing well over 300 million shares, I remember my father telling me in the early 1930s: "Son, when total stock exchange volume exceeds one million shares a day, most brokers make money. That's the break-even point." Volume in 1930 was about 2 million shares a day.

TAKE YOUR CHOICE: "Seasonal trends favor continued market gains despite a shortage of stock bargains." (Smart Money) . . . "Stocks are due for a tumble. And when the bear market finally comes, it won't be pretty." (Doug Fabian, editor, Fabian's Investment Resource) . . . "Our timing indicators remain very favorable. Our near target is the Dow Jones 3,800-3,900 level moving into the winter season." (Bob Brinker's Marketimer) . . . "If I interpret my technical indicators correctly, we could be in for a market blow-off, with the DJ moving to the 4,000 level in a few months." (The Compleat Strategist) . . . "The odds of a sudden, 1989-style sell-off remain about two to one. The odds are about 50-50 that it will happen in November, otherwise in the first quarter of 1994. That's about a one-in-three chance of a sharp November decline." (The Contrarian's View) . . . "The tremendous power of low inflation in the valuation of stocks keeps the market on a steady course; we do not see justification for a 10-15 percent market drop here." (Eads and Heald Investment Counsel.)

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