After gain, Dow closes with a loss

Abruptly reversing direction when oil, metals and bond prices turned sharply higher after lunchtime yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average gave up a 28-point early gain and ended with a loss of 12.80 points. The Dow indicator closed at 4,195.38, still ahead 361 points, or 9.4 percent, for the year.

SPEAKING OF STOCKS: Under "Stocks For Different Times of Your Life," the S&P; Outlook prints these classifications:


Singles: Birmingham Steel, Cisco Systems, Harley-Davidson, IBP, Inc., Reynolds & Reynolds and Time Warner.

Young Marrieds: Franklin Resources, General Motors Class H, Home Depot, Microsoft, Pepsico, Thermo Electron.


Mature Families: Automatic Data Processing, Chubb, General Electric, Gillette, Merck, Old Kent Financial.

Retirees: Deluxe Corp., Exxon, Great Western Financial, Health & Retirement Properties, Pacificorp, US West.

Before investing, ask your broker to send you reports on some of the above.

DIGGING DEEPER: Regarding the above lists, here are excerpts from the story: "When it comes to stock investing, time is on your side. The longer you hold shares of companies with steadily increasing earnings, the more likely you are to profit . . . Young people should take on greater risk in the hope of obtaining higher profits. If their stocks don't work out, younger investors have time to recoup . . . Older investors must be more conservative."

TAKING AIM: Baltimore Gas & Electric is listed under "Board Bennies: Some Benefits Under Fire" in Business Week's April 17 story, "How Much Should It Take to Keep The Board on Board?" and subtitled, "Shareholders Are Taking Aim at Directors' Lavish Benefits." Under BGE's name, an explanatory sentence reads, "Nonemployee directors receive pensions for life equal to their annual retainer, currently at $18,000 a year."

READING LAMP: Here are ideas for spring and summer reading, with dust-jacket blurbs: Hardcover: "The Beardstown Ladies' Common-Sense Investment Guide" by the Beardstown Ladies Club with Leslie Whitaker, $19.95. ("Recipes for Four-Bean Salad, Five-Hour Stew -- and 23 Percent Returns.") . . . "The Warren Buffett Way" by Robert Hagstrom Jr., $24.95. ("A useful analysis of how this stock market genius does it.")

PAPERBACK RACK: "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing" by Kenneth Morris and Alan Siegel, $13.95. ("Concise explanations enriched with graphics.") . . . "1001 Ways to Reward Employees" by Bob Nelson, $8.95. ("From a sincere word of thanks to putting their names in lights.") . . . "Knock 'Em Dead" by Martin Yate, $9.95. ("A job-seeker's handbook that's a 'must' for anyone looking for a position.")

GETTING RICHER (cont'd): In last Thursday's Ticker we advised, in brief: Put "found money" to work, take care of big expenses (college) ahead of time and pay down the mortgage as quickly as possible. Today, more from "How to Force Yourself to Get Richer" from Dollar Stretching Ideas:


"Take advantage of company investment options. If your company has a 401(k) plan, put as much as possible in it. The money will grow compounded, and will add up up to a nice nest egg.

"Set up an automatic investment deduction. Ask your company's payroll department to send a certain amount of each paycheck to a mutual fund you select. Most funds allow a periodic investment of as little as $50 a month.

"Borrow to invest. It's unorthodox, but makes sense for people who don't have enough cash to start an investment program. Borrow enough to get started in a mutual fund."

DO-IT-YOURSELF: "Create your own bond fund by building a portfolio of 'laddered' Treasury bonds. Invest among bonds with varying maturities, such as one, three, five and seven years. You obtain the benefit of diversification -- if rates go down you earn capital gains from longer-term bonds. If rates go up, you get more income when interest from your short-term securities is reinvested. You also get the complete safety of U.S. Treasury investments." (Bruce Ventimiglia, Quest for Value Advisory Service.)

APRIL SHOWERS: On Thursday, April 25, Baltimore Security Analysts present Michael Bloomberg, founder, Bloomberg Financial Markets. The meeting is at noon at the Stouffer Hotel.

"In the end, the economy and the Fed will be the most important factors. If we can have a year of business growth that does not result in an increase in inflation, the markets will do very well." (Investment Counselors of Maryland.)


Archer-Daniels-Midland, General Electric, Merck, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, Minnesota Mining & Mfg., Pepsico, Rubbermaid, and Schering Plough are well-known stocks that appear under "Premier Stocks For Conservative Investors -- Where Strong Dividend Growth Has Been Seen" in S&P; Outlook, April 5.

"With interest rates at relatively good levels, when you make optional cash investments into your dividend reinvestment plans, send them on time for the next investment dates. Otherwise they may sit in a DRP account waiting to be invested instead of remaining in a money fund drawing interest." (Moneypaper, April.)

"There's a general belief that what's going on in Washington is good for Wall Street. The best news is -- a soft landing, slow and tame." (Mary Farrell, technician.)