Encouraged investors send markets soaring


Encouraged by more reports of a cooling economy with possibly lower interest rates -- making stocks comparatively more appealing than bonds -- investors drove three popular stock averages to new highs yesterday.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 86.46 points, to close at a record 4,465.14, now 16.4 percent above its Jan. 1 level of 3,834.44.

The S&P; 500 and the NYSE composite also reached record highs.

WHAT TO DO NOW: "Successful investing is anticipating the successful anticipations of others." (Economist John Maynard Keynes)

"Spend as much time researching a stock as you would shopping for a refrigerator." (Peter Lynch)

"When you invest in stocks, you invest in businesses. Behave according to what is rational rather than what is fashionable." (Warren Buffett, quoted in a new, excellent biography, "Of Permanent Value: The Warren Buffett Story," $24.95, by Robert Hagstrom)

'LOOKING BACK' QUIZ: As most Baltimoreans know, The Evening Sun will shut down in September. But can you guess where the Dow Jones industrial average stood on our first publication day -- Monday, April 18, 1910? Read on.

LOOKING AHEAD: "The Dow Jones dividend level is now only 2.57 percent, its lowest in history. The danger signal is loud and clear. Don't bank on the foolish excuse that 'this time it's different.' " (Investment Quality Trends, Geraldine Weiss)

"We have never, in our history, seen as many positive individual components of the Dow stocks based on accumulation trends as we have now. Hang in there." (Leedom's Strength Indicator)

"The market looks tired, but computers and semiconductors could still surprise on the upside. Buy Intel, Compaq and Texas Instruments on weakness." (Laszlo Birinyi)

NOTES & QUOTES: "When clients talk to me about their estates, they usually say, 'If I die,' not 'When I die.' Even 80-year-olds use the conditional." (Martin Kuritz, estate planner, on people's reluctance to face death and taxes)

Business Week, June 5, on newsstands this week, runs a long, helpful cover story, "Online Investing," with specific suggestions about buying stocks on the Internet.

And, along the same lines, this week's Barron's, May 29, runs a good story, "Online Services Bulk Up as Internet Looms."

"There's nothing wrong with a cash reserve; it gives you time to think." (Robert Prechter, Elliott Wave Theorist)

TOP PERFORMERS: "Top-performing 'total return' (gain plus income) newsletters for the last 10 years, were, in order, with annual percentage gains following the names: MPT Review, up 26.1 percent; California Technology Stock Letter 16.3; BI Research 15.6; The Chartist 15.5 and Zweig Forecast 14.8." (Hulbert Financial Digest, May, under "Long-Term Performance Rankings")

QUIZ ANSWER: On Monday, April 18, 1910, the day The Evening Sun first hit the streets of Baltimore, the Dow Jones industrial average stood at 91.67.

In 1910, the 12 Dow Jones industrial stocks were:

American Car & Foundry, American Sugar, Peoples Gas, Laclede Gas, National Lead, General Electric, U.S. Rubber pfd., Amalgamated Copper, American Smelting and Refining, U.S. Steel, U.S. Steel pfd. and Colorado Fuel & Iron. (Data painfully extracted from "The Dow Jones Averages, 1885-1970.")

Today, there are 30 DJ industrial stocks, listed daily in the Wall Street Journal on Page C3.

MARYLAND MAILBAG: For a prospectus and material on the Charles Allmon Trust, a closed-end fund described in Business Week, May 29, write the fund at 4405 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Md.

Phone NationsBank investment vice president Myron Oppenheimer (244-6590) for "Investment Overview," including a clear color graph of the Dow Jones average, 1900-1995 . . . PaineWebber's Marvin Fribush (576-3220) will mail "Impact of Tax Reform on Municipal Bonds."

Alex. Brown (727-1700) will send a "Strong Buy" report on Hello Direct stock, summarized in this week's Barron's . . . Phone investment advisor Michael Dougherty (685-2600) for "The Ideal Stock Broker." All the above are freebies.

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "To remove your name from mailing lists, write to the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735.

Ask the vendors you like to add you to their in-house file. They will use that address for their own mail campaigns but aren't supposed to sell it." (Money, June)

"For an update on children's products being recalled, dial 1-800-638-2772." (Working Families, June)

FACTS & FIGURES: In response to several requests, here is the number to call for the lowest credit card rates in the U.S.: Bankcard Holders of America, 703-389-5445. It's a nonprofit organization that charges $4 to cover expenses.

Beach Towel Reading: "The Beardstown Ladies Common-Sense Investment Guide" by the Beardstown Ladies Investment Club Ladies with Leslie Whitaker, $19.95. The book is subtitled, "Recipes for Four-Bean Salad, Five-Hour Stew -- And 23 Percent Returns."

Rockville-based Mid-Atlantic Medical Services stock is listed under "Buy on Bad News" in Forbes, June 5.

A chart in Fortune, June 12, shows that the "total return" for long-term Treasury bonds stood at 12.19 percent in this year's first 4 1/2 months. Not bad for the safest investment you can make!

"Not Just the Beardstown Ladies, But Your Investment Club Can Prosper, Too" is worth reading in U.S. News & World Report, May 22.

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