Stocks inch upward in slow trading


In slow trading of 211 million shares, stocks edged up a trifle yesterday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 6.80 points, closing at 3,741.84, now just 12 points below its Jan. 1, 1994, level. Bonds edged up less than half a point as investors awaited today's and tomorrow's two- and five-year Treasury bond auctions.

Looking ahead, where will stocks and bonds go from here? Probably lower, if predictions of Wayne D. Angell, former Federal Reserve governor and now chief economist at Bear Stearns & Co., are correct.

On Friday's "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser," he said: "I feel the Fed will tighten credit and hike interest rates once more by August 15, maybe one half percent. Alan Greenspan feels that if the Fed tightens too much, it can always revise rates downward, but if the central bank lowers rates and inflation returns, it can't reverse easily. I see long government bond yields going up to 8 percent."

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Do you realize what a huge difference a rate makes? Assuming $2,000 goes into your IRA each year, here are figures showing you how much total return (gain plus income) you would receive at different rates in various periods. 10 years: at 4 percent, $24,950, at 8 percent $31,300. For 20 years, at 4 percent $61,950, at 8 percent $98,850. And for 30 years, at 4 percent $116,650, at 8 percent $244,700. And if you can get 10 percent -- possible in a well-managed IRA account -- the figures are, in 10, 20 and 30 years, respectively: $35,100, $126,000, $361,900. (Data from Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.)

MONEY-SAVERS: "Share flowers for weddings and other occasions if you're using a church, chapel or hall where more than one celebration will be held on the same day. Ask the hall manager for phone numbers of other users and call them to discuss savings." ("The Working Woman's Wedding Planner" by Susan Tatsui-D'Arcy, Prentice Hall, $16.95) . . . "Financial planners may be paid either: (1) Hourly or at a flat rate; (2) Based on an annual percentage of assets under management; (3) Flat or hourly rate plus commissions; (4) Commissions only; (5) Salary or retainer. If you don't want frequent advice, choose an hourly consulting fee plus commissions, rather than a percentage of assets under management." (Moneypaper, July.)

THANKS, FORTUNE: In its Aug. 8 issue, just out, Fortune gives broader distribution to an American Demographics article (reported in the Sun last month). "Welcome to Baltimore, the most normal city in the United States," says Fortune. Researchers found that Baltimore's population most closely resembles the nation's 'psychographic profile.' They relied on a classification procedure that divides the populace into eight categories, from tabloid-reading, coupon-clipping 'Strugglers' to wealthy, high-living 'Actualizers.' Actualizers make up the smallest Baltimore group, with 8 percent, and Strugglers, who have little education and are often retired, the biggest, at 17 percent. 'This could be a wake-up call,' says Naomi Henderson, head of RIVA Market Research in nearby Bethesda, Maryland."

MORE ON BALTIMORE: First National Life, Baltimore, is listed as "First Company" under "Best Community or Issue-Age Policies For 64 Cities" in Consumer Reports, August. Union Bankers, also of Baltimore, appears under "Best Attained-Age Policy." . . . The T. Rowe Price Japan Fund appears under "Best Performers in a Dismal First Half: International Global Equity" in U.S. News & World Report, July 25 . . . Harry B. Gorfine & Co. (539-5474) will mail its August "Tax Report," subtitled, "Have You Reviewed Your Buy-Sell Agreement Lately?". . . Phone Chapin Davis (435-3200) for the firm's "Purchase Recommendation" on Interstate Bakeries. ("The stock is cheap, the P/E multiple low, and we are highly confident in management.")

TRAVEL TIPS: "Mark luggage in a unique way so it will not be confused with look-alike bags. Examples: Use colored yarn tassels or ribbons on handles. Caution: Do not put your home address on the outside of luggage. Thieves in airports and railroad stations watch luggage tags for the addresses of people who are leaving home." ("Traveling With Children and Enjoying It," by Arlene Kay Butler, $11.95 . . . Ticker Note: It's a good idea to write your name and address on a sheet of paper inside your luggage, in case the outside tag with your name accidentally gets torn off.

LAST LINES: "The whole cumbersome Federal Reserve system -- building, governors, time wasted testifying before Congress and so on -- could probably be replaced by one big computer." (Milton Friedman, author and economist) . . . IBM stock climbed $4.50 last week, closing just under $62. Within the last 12 months you could have bought all the "Big Blue" shares you wanted around $42 . . . Recently re-designed and improved "Barron's Business and Financial Weekly," out every Saturday, has raised its price 25 cents to $3. In my opinion, it's still one of the best values around. This week's issue, dated July 22, runs 152 pages, all jampacked with helpful, up-to-the moment statistics and information, including a long, behind-the-scenes cover story about Boston-based Fidelity Management and its mutual fund operation . . . "Making money in the stock market is correctly anticipating the anticipations of others." (1994 Stock Trader's Almanac) . . . "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." (Confucius.)

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