The Dow Jones industrial average, held back by a drop of $2.37 a share in IBM, managed to edge up 4.22 points yesterday and closed at 4,704.94. All other averages climbed to record highs.
The Dow is now up 1,030 points from its 12-month low and now stands only 31 points below its all-time high.
WALL ST. WISDOM: "A loss never bothers me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong -- not taking the loss -- that does damage to the pocketbook and to the soul." (Jesse Livermore, a highly successful investor many decades ago.)
MONEY-SAVER: "A penny saved is more than a penny earned. A penny saved is not taxed. If you want to invest small amounts at a decent yield and have absolutely no risk, put your pocket change into your mortgage by adding modest amounts to your payments each month.
"These prepayments will reduce the amount of your mortgage principal, effectively saving you the mortgage rate. What's more, that amount is tax-free because you're saving it, not earning it. Prepaying $25 a month will save you $26,457 on a 30-year, 8.5 percent $100,000 mortgage." (Moneypaper, September)
CAREER CORNER: "If you're over 50, you'll improve your chances of getting a job by 'age-proofing' your resume," says Money magazine, September. The article adds, "Don't include your birth date or the year you graduated from college . . . Accentuate modern skills such as any computer know-how . . . If you're entering the work force for the first time, note any life experiences that will help the company you hope will hire you."
FERTILE FIELDS: Here, from Fortune, Sept. 18, is a partial list of "Top 20 Industries for Jobs Created, 1990 Through 1995." In order: Temporary and full-time employment agencies, restaurants and bars, local government administration, hospitals, recreation (health clubs, casinos, etc.), home health care, nursing and personal care, medical doctors' offices, computer software, state government administration.
LOOKING AHEAD: And, from the same article, "Where The Best Jobs Will Be -- Job Creators With the Highest Percentage of Knowledge Workers" (professionals, engineers, scientists, technicians, etc.): Home health care, motion picture production, offices of optometrists, podiatrists, etc., community-based care services, child day care, computer software, veterinary services, management consulting, public relations, cable and pay TV and elementary and secondary schools.
TAX-SAVER: "Don't wait till the end of the year; this is the time to consider bond swaps. If you have tax-free municipal bonds or bond funds that are losers, consider selling them. And if you don't want to get out of bonds completely, you may want to realize the loss for tax purposes; you can do this by swapping 'loser' bonds for similar bonds or similar funds." (Tax Hotline). See your broker and/or tax person for details.
BALTIMORE BEAT: Baltimore Security Analysts will be host to James E. Marley, chairman, AMP Inc., at noon Sept. 19 at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel. On the horizon: Sept. 28, Roger Lowenstein, Wall Street Journal columnist; Oct. 18, Barbara Graham, chief financial officer, Delmarva Power & Light. We'll print times and places as we get closer.
Legg Mason's latest "Investor's Dozen of Recommended Stocks" includes AT&T;, Capital One Financial, Carnival Corp., Comcast, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Fisher Scientific, Food Lion, General Instrument, Norwest Corp., A.O. Smith, Texas Utilities and Wendy's. Call Gerald Scheinker, 486-8010, for the entire letter.
MARYLAND MEMOS: Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) is ranked No. 3, United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. (USF&G;) is listed as No. 34 and Maryland Casualty is ranked No. 46 in "Ranking the 50 Largest Property & Casualty Insurers," in Financial World, Sept. 12 issue.
And, in the same magazine, T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund appears under "Selected Issues: Mutual Funds." ("Sheldon Jacobs, editor, No-Load Fund Investor, recommends these funds because they have widely-diversified portfolios, clever managers and good track records.")
WALL STREET WATCH: The most recent stock market comment has turned sharply bullish, with more than 60 percent of newsletters, portfolio managers, advisers, etc., writing optimistic pieces. A representative sample:
"The best of all worlds is upon us: benign inflation, declining interest rates and moderate, yet contained, growth." (Ronald Sadoff's Major Trends.)
"The 'bears' (many of whom missed this year's astonishing rally) RTC are trying to convince us that September is historically the year's worst month. Although that's true, I can't find anything to suggest this month will be just another statistic. Underpinnings are in fine shape; higher stock prices lie ahead." (The Leader-Board.)
Because The Evening Sun's last issue comes out this Friday, my Thursday column will look back at some major financial happenings our presses printed during the past 85 years.