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Dow sets record high for 4th time in 5 sessions


Setting its fourth record-closing high in the past five sessions, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 10.03 points yesterday and finished at 4,083.68.

Philip Morris, a Dow Jones industrial stock, gained $2.875 a share to close at $66, benefiting from a favorable court decision regarding the tobacco industry. Bonds and utilities ended slightly lower.

YOUR MONEY: Regarding investments, Fortune, April 3, says, "Investors in the 31 percent tax bracket earn more after taxes from AAA intermediate or long municipal bonds than from comparable Treasury bonds." The story, "Municipals Keep the Taxman at Bay," explains: "The 10-year municipal bond's yield is equivalent to a taxable investment of 7.8 percent, beating the Treasury's 7.3 percent by a healthy margin."

MARCH MEMOS: Your federal and Maryland income taxes must be postmarked in just four weeks (midnight, Monday, April 17.)

"Trying to change associates' ethical behavior is hopeless. The only thing we can do is take them to Sing Sing so they can see that the calculated risk of breaking rules isn't worth it." (Alan "Ace" Greenberg, chairman, Bear Stearns Co.)

"Laurel Federal Savings Bank, Md." (301-725-2552) is listed under "5-Year CDs: Small Savers Rates" at 7.25 percent in Sunday's New York Times (March 19) with data provided by "100 Highest Yields."

EXPERT PICKS: "Highly successful investor Warren Buffett's eight largest holdings account for 90 percent of Berkshire Hathaway's $17 billion portfolios. The first four are strong buys, the next three look solid, and Geico should be avoided. The list: Coca-Cola, Gillette, Cap Cities, Freddie Mac, American Express, Wells Fargo, PNC Bank Corp. and Geico." (Money, April, in a story, "Warren Buffett's Best Buys Now.")

WHERE TO LEARN: In a U.S. News & World Report (March 20) survey, the first five of the "Top 25" business schools are, in order, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan), University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), Stanford University, Harvard University and Northwestern University (Kellogg). Dartmouth College (Tuck School), my alma mater, ranks No. 6.

CAREER CORNER: National Business Employment Weekly, March 19-25, on newsstands this week, runs a helpful article, "Tell-Tale Signs You're About To Be Fired." Excerpts: "Co-workers' layoffs . . . Systems upgrade that threatens your job . . . Circulating rumors that your boss isn't fond of you (In this case, don't wait for a confrontation; ask for a face-to-face meeting) . . . A negative review . . . Company's business focus shifts to an arena where your skills are no longer critical, etc." The story suggests, "Never stop updating your skills."

LOCAL LINE: Among "Sun Stocks," these issues reached 12-month highs in recent trading: Black & Decker (up 64 percent in the past year), Data Measurement, Marriott International, Procter & Gamble and MBNA (credit card subsidiary of NationsBank.)

Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker (486-8010) will send you the firm's latest 12-page "Health Care Portfolio Review," including comments on Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Schering Plough.

Alex. Brown has a new "Buy" report on Baby Superstore stock, partly reprinted in Barron's, dated yesterday (March 21).

LOCAL HONOR ROLL: James W. Rouse (Rouse Co.) is listed under "Hall of Fame Roster of Past Laureates" in Fortune, April 3. The list includes such well-known names as Walter P. Chrysler, Andrew Carnegie, Walt Disney, Harvey Firestone, Benjamin Franklin ("Statesman, publisher, inventor"), Lee Iacocca, Andrew Mellon, J. P. Morgan, Adolph Ochs, J. C. Penney, John D. Rockefeller, George Washington ("President, land manager"), Thomas J. Watson Jr., Eli Whitney, etc.

In the story titled, "1995 National Business Hall of Fame," this year's seven laureate choices are Dr. P. Roy Vagelos (Merck), Raymond Noorda (Novell), Philip Caldwell (Ford), Frederick Maytag (Maytag), Alexander Hamilton ("First Secretary of the Treasury"), F. W. Woolworth (Woolworth) and William McKnight (3M Corp.)

WALL ST. WATCH: Of all the weekend market letters, columns, reports, opinions, etc., I read, about 75 percent were gloomy. Herewith, a representative sample:

"Warning signs are posted all along the financial highway that say time is running out for preserving your capital. The risk of a bear market is very real, given the interrelationship of world markets and highly leveraged derivatives." (Leo Hood, adviser, recently named "1994 Timer of the Year.")

"The bond rally has moderately improved our model, but the bond market ignores some very inflationary factors." (The Zweig Letter.)

"Market fundamentals are favorable and, all things considered, stocks are acquitting themselves quite well. Stay invested." (United & Babson Investment Report.)

"With all the noise about Dow Jones 4,000, one could think stocks were off to an upside sprint. But although a lot of 'big stocks' are way up there, expansion of new highs has been anemic. It's an upside 'fake-out,' not a breakout, and a dangerous mix exists with the dollar's free-fall." (Ian McAvity's Deliberations.)

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