Silver linings in the clouds

The Ticker

September 20, 1990|By Julius Westheimer

Although the Dow Jones average now stands at 2,557.43, down 14 points yesterday and 343 points (12 percent) since the Iraq crisis began, many analysts see silver linings in the clouds.

Here is a cross-section of recent opinions:


"For the moment all the bad news -- real, rumored, or anticipated -- is probably reflected in most stock prices. If nothing happens soon to justify extreme fears, buyers will begin to nibble." (Rex Rehfeld, Gruntal & Co.) . . . "We're closer to the bottom than to the top; a favorable news item like lower interest rates or the Iraq crisis ending will boost stocks." (Frank Cappiello) . . . "We would buy bonds if rates rise, upgrade portfolios if the market drops and remember that we are long-term investors either way. Short-term fluctuations should not change long-term objectives." (Myron Oppenheimer, vice president, Security Trust Co.-Maryland National Bank).


"Patience may be needed, but value is there; there's a lot of value in stocks today." (Craig Lewis, Investment Counselors of Maryland) . . . "Never sell a dull market short." (Rob Brown, Ferris, Baker Watts & Co.) . . . "Analysts say PHH Corp. stock is now seriously undervalued." (Baltimore Business Journal) . . . Legg Mason's September Investment Letter recommends MCI Communications, Baxter International, General Motors, Kerr McGee and others . . . T. Rowe Price International Fund appears under "Honor Roll" in Forbes' annual fund ratings, Sept. 3 . . . "A broad array of potential candidates develops as stock prices fall, among them Caterpillar, Digital Equipment, Dow, Westvaco." (Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Co.)


"I disagree with the optimists; this is an old-fashioned bear market, like 1973-74, when stocks plunged about 65 percent. Also, we're in a recession, and the market hasn't discounted that." (Louis Holland on "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser.") . . . "We're in a significant bear market, with Value Line index nearing its 1987 low. But this is the time to get bullish; turn off your TV set and buy." (Harvey Eisen, same program) . . . "It wasn't the Kuwait invasion that turned top performers bearish; they already were. This augurs badly for stocks and suggests that the Iraq selloff won't be a good buying opportunity." (Mark Hulbert, Hulbert Financial Digest)


"Be careful. It happens again and again: a money manager's dice are hot and then they turn cold. So don't buy into a fund just because it was hot last year." (Michael Fritz, Forbes, Sept. 3) . . . "To lower next April's tax bill, do these things: maximize your interest deduction by paying off personal loans and replacing them with a deductible home equity loan; if medical expenses appear huge, accelerate 1991 medical costs into this year; make charitable contributions now; maximize contributions to retirement plans by contributing money now and converting taxable earnings into nontaxable earnings earlier." (Nicholas Nesi, BDO Seidman Co., New York)


Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week" asks, "Is a Recession Here?" with guest Edward Hyman and panelists Elizabeth Dater, Monte Gordon, Martin Zweig . . . "If you had invested $10,000 in the following portfolios one year ago, your $10,000 would now be worth: in gold $10,809; in a money market fund $10,702; in Treasury bonds $9,885; in S&P 500 stock index $9,368; in foreign stocks $8,823." (Business Week, Sept. 24) . . . "Higher yields can be found inside Canada." (100 Highest Yields, Sept. 17) . . . U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 24, on newsstands this week, runs a helpful 20-page cover story, "How To Prosper in Hard Times" . . . Mutual Fund Forecaster, Sept. 14, says, "This is a good time to buy; July-August slide knocked 15 percent off popular averages. Stocks are now reasonably valued" . . . "Nothing will give you more free time than being punctual." (Bits & Pieces, Sept. 20).

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