At the close, the Dow indicator stood less than one point below its all-time high and 608 points above its 12-month low. All of the more-representative indexes closed lower, with HMO stocks suffering especially sharp losses.
SPEAKING OF STOCKS: In a new book, "The Money Monarchs" by Douglas Donnelly ($30), the author talks with 10 of the country's leading money managers about their long-term investment strategies. Here's a brief summary:
"There are no magic formulas; expect to build wealth slowly . . . Trust your advisers; let them do their thing . . . Before investing, understand the risks you face . . . Forget trying to predict the market's short-term moves. Focus on extremes." (Dick Davis Digest)
MONEY SAVERS: "Generic drugs generally cost about half as much as their brand-name counterparts and are required by law to work just as well . . . Most cars run just fine on regular 87-octane gasoline; spending more wastes money unless the owner's manual calls for premium . . . When buying a new car, leave your old car out of the negotiation until you've agreed on a price for the new car.
"You're paying too much for car insurance if your insurance company doesn't know about any air bags, automatic seat belts, anti-theft devices, etc. . . . The safest bet in used cars is the one you buy from someone you know -- a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker." (Dollar Stretching Ideas)
CAREER CORNER: Here are highlights from this week's (April 16-22) National Business Employment Weekly story, "How Long Does It Take To Find a New Job?":
"When severance pay runs out, people find positions; that's been a truism for years . . . Job searches are shorter these days because severance amounts have been halved in the last two years . . . Effective networking will cut down your search time; tell everyone you know you're looking for work . . . It's always better to accept an offer for a job that pays slightly less than you earned previously but offers significant long-term growth potential."
NOTES & QUOTES: For a free book, "Preparing Your Child For College," write Consumer Information Center, Dept. 510B, Pueblo, Colo. 81009. The guidebook covers choosing a career, selecting a college, student loans.
Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" covers "The Dollar, Gold and the Stock Market" with a panel discussion between three guests who specialize in international research, currency strategies and precious metals.
T. Rowe Price Small Cap Value Fund is listed under "Buy Recommendations" in Mutual Fund Forecaster, April 6. The fund's five-year "profit projection" is 37 percent.
BE CAREFUL: "At airports, thieves now steal valuables as your briefcases, pocketbooks, travel bags, etc., emerge from weapon-detection machines. Crooks walk through metal-detection checkpoints ahead of intended victims and if victims are delayed -- or are asked to walk through again -- the thieves grab cameras, carry-on bags, etc., after the items clear electronic inspection. Then the professional crooks quickly vanish in the crowd. Solution: Don't let your guard down at airports -- even in seemingly safe and well-protected areas." (Conde Nast Traveler)
BALTIMORE & BEYOND: USF&G; stock appears on Legg Mason's April Recommended List. ("Strong earnings growth is expected for 1995 and 1996. Our 12- to 18-month target price is $18 per share, representing 10.9 times our 1996 earnings-per-share estimate.")
"We remain skeptical that the masses will be rewarded by the market, and we continue to view massive additions by new investors to stock mutual funds as a potential risk." (Richard Kodenski, Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co.)
Beginning June 7, there will be a "three-day settlement" period on your stock and bond purchases and sales, instead of the five-day period now in existence. Your broker has details.
APRIL SHOWERS: "Did you know that Coca-Cola -- whose brand name is the best-known in the world -- derives less than 20 percent of its income from U.S. sales, despite its huge presence in this country?" (Smart Money)
NationsBank Corp. stock is listed under "Low P/E Ratios, High Earnings Growth and High Return on Equity" in a recent S&P; Outlook.
WALL ST. WATCH: "Since 1905, the average Dow Jones gain in the fifth year of a decade was 34 percent; the trend remains up." (The Daily Trader) . . . "Considering the stock market's big gains recently, a pullback would not be surprising." (Dow Theory Forecasts) . . . "Softening inflationary pressures will pull down interest rates, while most statistics confirm a slowing economy. This is good news for stocks and bonds." (Major Trends)
"This could be the start of an important intermediate-term top." (Stan Weinstein, The Professional Tape Reader) . . . "One of our favorite indicators -- the ratio of three-month T-bill yields to the S&P; 500-stock yield -- has now given a major sell signal." (Futures Hotline Mutual Fund Timer)