Holiday was preceded by gains in stock market


In a strong pre-holiday rally, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 36.98 points on Friday, closing at 4,647.54.

CAL QUIZ: In a previous Ticker we noted that on the day Cal Ripken's streak started, the Dow Jones industrial average stood at 819.54 but, on the eve of his record-breaking appearance tomorrow, can you guess where Baltimore Gas & Electric stock stood on that date over 13 years ago? For the exact date and BGE price, read on.

WALL STREET WISDOM: "The daily grind of negative news presents opportunities for investors. Effective investment is for the long term. If you allow frightening daily headlines to create indecision, you will not focus on a long-term investment strategy. The stock market often responds negatively to bad news for a time, but its long-term trend is up and successful investors always look at the long term." ("The Five Rituals of Wealth: Proven Strategies for Turning the Little You Have into More Than Enough," by Tod Barnhart, $22)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "To simplify your financial life, reduce your number of brokerage accounts to one . . . Have your money automatically invested; you'll never miss it if it's taken out of your paycheck before you even see it . . . Have only three mutual funds -- a growth, small-company and international fund . . . Set up a simple record-keeping system with a folder for bills to be paid, one for tax deductions and an inventory of your holdings." (Jonathan Pond, author, "The New Century Money Book," $18.95)

LOCAL LINGO: Baltimore Gas & Electric stock is listed under "Ten Stocks To Consider" in Worth magazine, September ("BGE, yielding 6.2 percent, is as cheap as it's been in 12 years"). The local utility is also the subject of a favorable Merrill, Lynch report.

Norman P. Blake, USF&G; chairman and CEO, will address Security Analysts Society at noon on Sept. 13, at Stouffers/Renaissance. Ask your broker to take you to this discussion of the widely held local stock.

"Sun Stocks" reaching 12-month highs late last week included Columbia Gas, Crestar, JP Food Service, Loyola Capital, Signet Banking and Super Rite.

LOOKING BACK: Among the cards I received for my birthday (No. 79) tomorrow, one from my Portugal-based daughter reads, "1916 Was A Very Good Year," and lists these prices of that year: Postage stamp 2 cents; bread (1 pound loaf) 7 cents; milk (quart) 9 cents; average house $4,776. The card also reads, "In that year, Henry Ford awarded equal pay to women; $5 per day."

LOOKING AHEAD: "Through January 31, 1996, you can open a new Young Investor (Kiddie Fund) account with only $100, when you establish your account with an automatic investment plan. With automatic investing, you can put aside $50 or more a month regularly toward your child or grandchild's future without lifting a finger -- by automatic transfer from your checking or savings account. Call 800-403 KIDS (800-403-0550) for details." (Stein Roe Mutual Funds Newsletter)

QUIZ ANSWER: On Sunday, May 30, 1982, the day Cal Ripken's streak began (he was playing third base then), Baltimore Gas & Electric stock, adjusted for a two-for-one split (1985) and a three-for-two split (1992), stood at $9 a share. Today's price, about $26.

WALL ST. WATCH: "The stock market is now extremely overbought and vulnerable to severe profit taking. The high trading volume that's driven Wall Street higher is starting to ebb, so it's unlikely that the market will climb much higher in upcoming weeks." (MPT Review)

"Inflation appears to be tame, corporate profits are the healthiest in decades and the price-earnings ratio on the S&P; 500 is a modest 14, based on earnings projected for the next 12 months. The market may hit a bump or two, but the long picture looks quite bright," (Ruta Financial Newsletter)

"We expect the spread between Treasury bill yields and dividends on stocks to narrow in the months ahead, reflecting Federal Reserve easing and faster dividend growth. That should bolster stocks' position in the competition for investors' dollars." (S&P; Outlook, Aug. 30)

TAX TIPS: "Say you own property that has gone up in value a great deal since you bought it. Now you face a big capital gains tax. Ways to cut the tax: Give the property to children age 14 or older.

"Make tax-free gifts of up to $10,000 each ($20,000 if you make gifts jointly with a spouse.) So if you have four children, you and your spouse can 'gift' $80,000 of property each year -- and probably cut gains tax on the property by half or more . . . Give the property to a charity." (Tax Hotline, Sept.)

NOTES & QUOTES: "Seventy-five million man hours of testing went into Microsoft's Windows 95." (The New Yorker, Sept. 4)

"A stop-loss order can be used to protect a profit or minimize a loss. Example: You buy a stock at $30 a share, and it climbs to $50. To protect that gain, you put in a stop-loss order instructing your broker to sell if the price falls below $45. There's no cost to enter a stop-loss order unless the trade is executed." ("Money Smart: Taking the Fear Out of Financial Planning" by Esther Berger, $11.)

Business Week, Sept. 4, lists these hardcover best-sellers, in order: The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Tracey, $25. . . Built to Last by James Collins, $25. (It's the story of Procter & Gamble, etc.). . . The Beardstown Ladies' Common Sense Investment Guide, by The Beardstown Ladies Investment Club with Leslie Whitaker, $19.95.

Paperbacks: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey $12 . . . The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money & Investing, by Kenneth Morris, $13.95.

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