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Some small-cap names favored by Babson & Co.


"Small-cap stocks can turn from laggards into leapers," says David L. Babson & Co., investment advisers. "Reasons: strong earnings growth, low P/E ratios, possibility of buyout and dwindling concern over interest rate hikes." It suggests BJ's Wholesale Club Inc., Cable Design Technology Corp., Penton Media Inc. and True North Communications Inc., all on the New York Stock Exchange.

TAX TIP: "The best time to sell stock for tax purposes is in the fourth quarter, when you can estimate capital gains and losses," says Roger Lusby, CPA. "Look for stocks with losses to offset estimated gains and ordinary income - up to $3,000 in any one year. Sale candidates are stocks of companies with negative earnings for two consecutive quarters, or whose stock declined more sharply than those in the same sector."

BEST JOB: Want to help people manage their money? "According to the 2001 Jobs-Rated Almanac, the dream job is to be a financial planner," says this week's Barron's. "Research looked at 250 jobs and ranked each as to income level, stress, job security and hiring outlook."

WALL STREET WATCH: "Contrary to popular opinion, P/E ratios aren't excessive considering growth rates and many U.S. companies' profitability." (Gruntal & Co. newsletter)

"P/E ratios are sinking. Only stocks whose earnings rose faster than P/Es fell rewarded investors. Get used to it." (Personal Finance)

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