Dow nudges up 3.7 points as bonds gain


Recovering from an early 17-point loss, the Dow Jones industrial average edged up 3.70 points yesterday and closed at 3,846.89. Interest rates moved higher as the 30-year Treasury bond yield climbed to 7.85 percent, a two-year high. Many investors fear that high bond yields will continue to prove stiff competition for stocks.

AND NOW WHERE? "The market's hesitation around Dow Jones 4,000 is symptomatic of the 'round-number resistance' that greets every millennial milestone. But we believe that stocks will power through this barrier and keep rising." (Argus Weekly Staff Report) . . . "The scariest technical chart of all is that of long-term bonds, which states that the bull market in bonds is over." (Ian Avity's Deliberations) . . . "The historically high price-dividend ratio sharply raises the odds that the eventual bear market will be a biggie." (InvesTech Market Analyst)

BALTIMORE BEAT: Rex Rehfeld, vice president of Gruntal & Co. in Baltimore, writes, "There is no guarantee that using a professional adviser will be successful, and some investors like to second-guess every portfolio change. But for clients who don't have the time or self-confidence to make decisions, odds are that managers will do better." . . . Rick Faby, first vice president at Dean Witter in Lutherville, sends his firm's letter which says, in part, "History teaches that patient investors who use price to buy good values are richly rewarded in the long run." Both men will send full letters if you call or write.

MONEY SAVERS: "Beware of home-repair scams; if someone shows up at your door with a 'today-only' offer, close the door . . . If your schedule permits, see movies in the afternoon, when most theaters offer discounts, and when they're less crowded . . . To buy new government bonds without paying commission, call the Federal Reserve branch nearest you. (In this area the number is 410-576-3553) . . . Fall is a great time to plan your spring garage sale; start accumulating items you no longer want; pile them in an empty corner in your garage or basement.

TAX TIP: "The cost of commuting from one's home to a workplace is generally a nondeductible personal expense, but the Tax Court has carved out some exceptions. One exception: a case in which a taxpayer maintained a home office that qualified as the taxpayer's principal place of business. The court held that the taxpayer could deduct the costs of traveling between the home office and other locations where he/she conducted that same business." (Harry B. Gorfine & Co. Tax Report, Oct.) Phone 539-5474 for complete report.

MARYLAND MEMOS: "With the economy and inflation accelerating, investors should focus on natural resources. If I could only buy one natural resource or industrial cyclical fund, it would be T. Rowe Price New Era. This fund is in all the right places: oil, gas, precious metals, forest products, etc." (Jay Schabacker, Mutual Fund Investing, Potomac) . . . "Potomac Electric Power is one of America's steadiest electric utilities, and with a safe yield of nearly 8 percent it's also one of the best bargains around." (The Utility Forecaster) . . . "Sun Stocks" reaching 12-month highs recently include Becton Dickinson and Griffith Consumers; Merry-Go-Round slipped to a yearly low . . . Coming in Thursday's Ticker: At the three-quarter pole (Sept. 30), which readers are leading in our Dow Jones forecasting contest?

CAREER CORNER: National Business Employment Weekly, Oct. 2-8, runs a helpful story, "Does Your Resume Grab Attention?" Highlights: "Don't assume that since your old resume worked well, you can recycle it for your current job just by tacking on your latest position . . . Your resume should vividly communicate the benefits of hiring you . . . Make sure you write what valuable things you did and how they could help your potential employer: increased sales, helped cut expenses, increased company efficiency, etc . . . Always remember: The purpose of a resume is to secure an interview." The issue also has a good article, "Trade Associations Seek Top Managers."

AUTUMN LEAVES: If you wish to receive a list of low-rate credit cards, write to Bankcard Holders of America, "Low-Rate List Dept.," 524 Branch Drive, Salem, Va. 24153. Send a check for $4 . . . "Stocks For Superior Total Return," in S&P; Outlook, Sept. 28, include Ameritech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dominion Resources, Duke Power, Exxon, GTE Corp. and Mobil Corp . . . "One stock-picking blunder to avoid is buying second-rate stocks because they pay high dividends. In fact, the more the firm pays in dividends, the weaker it may be because the company may have to pay high interest rates to replenish the money paid out to stockholders." ("How to Make Money in Stocks" by William O'Neill, $9.95) . . . "In business decision-making, 71 percent of men emphasize logic, 29 percent focus on intuition; by contrast 47 percent of women emphasize logic and 53 percent use intuition." (INC. magazine, October) . . . Here is the present value of a $10,000 investment made one year ago in the following categories: In foreign stocks $11,873; in gold $11,034; in U.S. stocks $10,520; in a money market fund $10,205 and in Treasury bonds $9,023. (Data from Business Week, Oct. 3) . . . WBAL-TV (Channel 11) answers your "money" questions weekdays at 5:45 a.m., 6:15 a.m. and 6:45 a.m., Saturdays at 8:15 a.m. Call 410-481-8844.)

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