A blue-chip buying panic gripped Wall Street late yesterday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average up 23.76 points to an all-time peak of 3,764.43. Other indexes were mixed.
As of last night's close, here are the closest year-end forecasts, made Jan. 1 (DJ 3,301) by our local "experts" -- brokers, advisers, media stars, etc. In order: Gail Dudack, technician 3,740; Barry Salzman, Gruntal manager 3,730; Frank Cappiello, mutual fund CEO 3,700; Carter Randall, adviser 3,680; Allan Prell, WBAL talk show host 3,666; Manuele Wasserman, Prudential Securities 3,648 and Larry Adam, Dean Witter 3,636.
MONEY-SAVER: Biweekly mortgage payments. "That totals 26 payments a year, the equivalent of 13 monthly payments rather than 12 -- and that's the magic. Doing so lets you pay off a 30-year loan in 22 years, a 15-year loan in 12 years. Example: Over the life of a 30-year $100,000 mortgage at 10 percent interest, you would save roughly $78,000." (Bill Staton's Money Advisory.)
MONEY-MAKER: "Consider dollar-cost averaging into a mutual fund. Say the market, and your fund, continues to rise for three months, then falls for six. The $50 you invest every month buys fewer shares of a fund when the market is rising and more when it's falling. The average cost of your investment will probably be lower than if you invested all $450 at the beginning." (Fortune,Dec. 27, on newsstands this week.)
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: The latest Kiplinger Letter says that doing business with Russia will be safer in 1994, with a more business-oriented parliament in place. For data on potential deals, write the Commerce Dept. Business Information Service, Room 7413, Washington, D.C., 20230 . . . In response to many requests, here are today's "Dow 5" stocks: Du Pont, Merck, Philip Morris, Union Carbide and Woolworth. By following the strategy of buying the unpopular "Dow 5" -- the five TC lowest-priced issues of the 10 highest-yielding Dow stocks -- and rearranging them yearly if necessary, a 1973 investor stretched $1,000 into $56,858 in 20 years, an annual 22 percent return.
BALTIMORE BEAT: USF&G; is included under "Attractive Low-Priced Stocks" in a recent Standard & Poor's list of recommendations . . . Investment Counselors of Maryland says, "If the economic strength in this final quarter of 1993 were to carry through well into next year, profit comparisons would be truly surprising." . . . "I am extremely wary of the economy and the stock market. The market, close to if not at all-time highs, is clearly overpriced unless earnings increase sharply. Someone once said, 'There are old pilots and bold pilots, but few old, bold pilots.' The same might be said of investors." (Rex Rehfeld, Gruntal & Co.'s Baltimore office.)
MORE LOCAL: Dean Witter's Jack Rosenbloom will mail his firm's 12-page illustrated "Investor's Guide to the 1993 Tax Bill" if you phone him at 547-7027 . . . Call Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker, 486-8010, for "Telephone Update: Third Quarter, 1993." . . . "Mark Edwards, co-manager, T. Rowe Price International Discovery Fund, expects small capitalization companies to perk up on the European continent as interest rates come down and the continental economies wake up from their slumber sometime next year." (Fortune, Dec. 13.) . . . Stocks of companies with local connections reaching 12-month highs in recent trading include Aegon Insurance, AlliedSignal, Baltimore Bancorp, CSX Corp., General Motors and Mid-Atlantic Medical. MedImmune stock tumbled to a yearly low.
DECEMBER DIARY: "IRAs may become obsolete very soon. President Clinton's economic plan stands to force retirees into higher tax brackets, nullifying the effect of deferring their taxes -- and slashing their income." (Forbes) . . . National Business Employment Weekly, Dec. 10 issue, says, "Demand is booming for investment sales professionals as millions of Americans are now managing their IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts."
TICKER NOTE: If you will work long and hard, you will find a financial sales career most rewarding, especially these days . . . "The new tax law provides a tax break for investors by setting the maximum long-term capital gains rate at 28 percent vs. tax on ordinary income as high as 39.6 percent." (Tax Hotline.) . . . "Business in this country is like a race where you run the first four laps as fast as you can -- and then you gradually increase your speed." (William Weiss, CEO, Ameritech.)
SPECIFIC PICKS: "Best bets now are stocks that stand to gain as the economy strengthens, such as Sonat, Tenneco, Exxon and Mobil." (Charles Clough, chief investment strategist, Merrill Lynch) . . . Banc One, Paramount Communications, Baxter International, Bell Computer, Kerr-McGee, Rohr and B. F. Goodrich are included under "Rising Stars" in S&P; Outlook, Dec. 8 . . . T. Rowe Price International Fund appears under "Favored Funds for Portfolio Building" in the same Outlook . . . On "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" Friday, James Crabbe, mutual fund manager, recommended IBM ("very much out-of-favor now, but won't be that way forever"), Cypress Semiconductor and Medicare America . . . Barron's, dated yesterday, says this year's "Dow Jones Dogs" -- the 10 highest-yielding Dow stocks (Eastman Kodak, Sears, United Technologies, American Express, Union Carbide, Chevron, Texaco, IBM, Westinghouse and Exxon) -- rose an average 28 percent this year so far, and lists next year's possible winners in the Dow as Texaco, Woolworth, Philip Morris, Exxon, Chevron, JP Morgan, Du Pont, Union Carbide, Merck and American Express . . . "When prices are high/they want to buy; when prices are low/ they let 'em go." (1994 Stock Trader's Almanac)