Stocks ended generally higher yesterday. Most popular averages closed with gains except the Dow Jones industrials, which slipped 0.34, to 4,299.83. The Nasdaq index finished at an all-time peak. High-tech stocks were strong, with IBM, Intel and Texas Instruments registering point-plus gains.
LOOKING AHEAD: "Since 1963 there's never been a period -- until now -- when bears outnumbered bulls for more than 45 weeks. The seven previous longest streaks showed an average Dow gain of 29 percent in the next nine months. A similar gain would push the Dow through 5,000 by year-end." (Bill Staton's Money Advisory, about market prognosticators)
"Today 31 percent of U.S. households own mutual funds vs. 6 percent in 1980. The fund industry is a $670 billion gorilla that expects a soft landing to keep fueling stocks. If something goes wrong, there's going to be hell to pay when the gorilla can't find the exit." (InvesTech Market Analyst)
"We're in the final days of a feeding frenzy. Load up on petroleum-related and precious-metals stocks and let the Dow get as crazy as it wants prior to the decline." (Pro Trade Letter)
AND IN BRIEF: "The stock market's headed to 5,000 because everybody keeps buying stocks in their 401(k) plans." (Man who stopped me in Hampden the day before yesterday)
"Do what Vince Lombardi said to do: 'Stick to fundamentals.' " (Cynthia Rosenwald, a reader)
"The Dow is more likely to see 5,000 than 3,500 this year." (Robert Markman, money manager, in "When Will the Bull Market Quit?" in U.S. News & World Report, April 17)
"I never buy at the bottom and I always sell too soon." (The late Baron de Rothchild's success formula)
NOTES & QUOTES: "Buy at least one international mutual fund. Worldwide stock markets don't always move the same way, and when you invest in a fund that invests abroad, you limit your risk if the U.S. market falls." (Morningstar Mutual Fund Letter)
"Five ways to pass along more of your assets to your heirs include: A family trust, a qualified personal residence trust, an irrevocable life insurance trust, a charitable remainder trust and a revocable living trust." (Money, March)
Adams Express, a Baltimore-based closed-end mutual fund, appears under "Closed-End Bargains: Growth At a Discount" in Personal Finance, April 26. The story says, in part, "Adams Express is one of the oldest funds around, having survived its unfortunate start in October, 1929."
LONELY LISTINGS: Business Week, April 24, runs a special section, "Executive Compensation Scoreboard," and with the aid a thick magnifying glass I found only two local companies, with these names and 1994 numbers: C. H. Poindexter, chairman and CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric: salary and bonus $660,000, up 12 percent from 1993 . . . N. D. Archibald, president and CEO, Black & Decker: salary and bonus $495,000, up 3 percent from 1993.
Regarding the above two lonely listings among about 375 in the article, isn't it sad to realize how many big local firms we've lost -- Maryland Cup, Noxell, Monumental Life, First National Bank, Union Trust Co., Maryland National Bank, to name just a few?
WHAT WE THINK: "Thirty-four percent of people surveyed recently think real estate investing is the best way to get rich. Twenty-one percent expect to inherit money from their parents, averaging about $89,000. About 70 percent worry that strangers can spy on their private financial records. And 58 percent of Americans favor a flat income tax of 17 percent, with virtually no ++ deductions." (Money, May)
SEVEN SINS: "The seven deadly sins of estate planning are: (1) Doing nothing. (2) Failing to name a proxy (giving your spouse or someone you trust authority to make financial decisions). (3) Buying into the 'hype' of living trusts. (4) Forgetting about assets that bypass your will. (5) Leaving big money to small children. (6) Neglecting 'what if' questions (in estate planning, it is dangerous to assume that the way things are is the way they will always be. (7) Undervaluing your estate; some people simply don't know how wealthy they are." (U.S. News & World Report, April 24, in a good story, "With a Will, There's A Way")
MONTH-ENDERS: As of today the "Dow 5" stocks -- produced by the strategy whereby $10,000 grew to $617,000 over the past 22 years -- are Chevron, General Electric, Merck, 3M and Sears, Roebuck. (Woolworth disappeared when the store chain cut its dividend.)
National Business Employment Weekly (April 23-April 29), runs a helpful story with specific examples: "Why It's Not Too Late To Find Your Ideal Career: You Can Change Course at Midlife."
"Stocks recommended by three or more newsletters that beat the market for five years include Cobra Golf, Coca-Cola, Helix Technology, Hewlett-Packard, JLG Industries, Merck, Microsoft, Microtouch, Oracle Systems, Pacific Scientific and Tellabs." (Hulbert Financial Digest, April)