At Ticker's birth in 1977, the Dow, at 939, was also in infant stages


ON TUESDAY, Ticker will mark its 23rd birthday. When this column began on Feb. 22, 1977, the Dow Jones average stood at 939.26, the NASDAQ index at 94.14. This morning the Dow stands at 10,514.57 and NASDAQ at 4,548.75

Adjusted for splits, here are Feb. 22, 1977, prices of some well-known stocks: Coca-Cola Co., $2.125; McDonald's Corp., $2.50; Merck & Co. Inc., $1.50; Procter & Gamble Co., $5.25; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., $4.375.

Explosive growth of retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, etc., fueled the spectacular rally. Automatic payroll deductions for stocks and stock mutual funds kept equities moving higher.

The following stocks are listed as rising stars in the latest S&P; Outlook: Atlantic Richfield Co., General Motors Corp., Linear Technology Corp., Williams Cos., Cincinnati Financial Co. and Sherwin Williams Co.

NOTES & QUOTES: "An IRA is one of the few worthwhile tax breaks available to the average investor." (Donald Dion, editor, Fidelity Adviser.)

"A bull market climbs a wall of worries." (Stock Trader's Almanac.)

"Investors' expectations are still sky-high. In a recent poll, a record 75 percent of those polled were bullish." (The Chartist.)

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