Although I find it distracting to write about money as the Mideast missiles fly, I realize that life goes on elsewhere. So today, a column of late news, views and hopefully helpful items about Wall Street and Main Street as the widening conflict rages overseas.
LATE NEWS: Following two "down" days, stocks turned higher yesterday as the Mideast war news brightened a bit. The Dow Jones average gained 16 points to 2,619.06, off 281 points (10 percent) since the crisis began on Aug. 2. Overnight in Tokyo, the Nikkei average was up 219 points.
MARKET WATCH: "Don't sell stocks; this isn't Pearl Harbor. The war danger has been pretty well advertised." (Kidder Peabody) . . ."A war might boost the economy if short, but batter it if long." (Wall Street Journal roundup) . . . "The war is far from over, and there may be less favorable news to come. Keep your long-term perspective as good quality stocks should outperform in any market environment." (Myron Oppenheimer, Security Trust/Maryland National Bank) . . . "A quick resolution of the Persian Gulf crisis will not end the recession, nor the major bear market." (LaLoggia's Special Situation Report)
JANUARY JOURNAL: Mary Jane Wilson, Mount Airy, 1990 Dow xTC Jones contest co-winner, generously donated her "lunch money" (about $100, we decided) to Our Daily Bread soup kitchen instead of taking the lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Ticker . . . Lee Finckel, other co-winner, will pick DJ 2,636 for this year's closing number . . . Did you know that SCUD is the "NATO nickname for a Soviet mobile tactical surface-to-surface missile," and not an acronym for anything? (Data from Dictionary of Abbreviations) . . . And the name "Saddam" means "confrontation." (CNN News)
DAYS GROW SHORT: Only three days remain to guess the Dec. 31 closing Dow Jones figure in our stock market contest. Print on a postcard (no letters) the whole number (no decimals) with your name, address, and home phone number. Cards must be postmared by midnight Sunday, Jan. 27. Mail to Dow Jones Ticker Contest, P.O. Box JW-6000, Baltimore Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md., 21278. One card per person. Winner and guest will be dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ticker at the winner's favorite restaurant, runner-up ditto for lunch. Ten next closest receive Maryland Business Almanacs.
BALTIMORE BEAT: How deep will the recession be, and how should you manage your investments in it? For thoughtful answers, phone The Rothschild Co. (539-4660) for its latest Client Letter. ("No one can call the ideal time to buy on a consistent basis, and they don't ring a bell at the bottom. The only way to take advantage of stock ownership is to have a long-term outlook and prepare for a bumpy ride. Historically, rewards have been worth it. Now is the time to look for opportunities.") . . . Alex Brown & Sons is investing in real estate investment trusts now." (Bottom Line)
MONTH-ENDERS: "You may be eligible for an auto insurance discount if your car has an anti-theft device, automatic seat belts, if you're over 65, if you're a student with a good average, if you're in a car pool, etc. Ask your insurer." (Dollar Stretcher) . . . Microsoft and Philip Morris are recommended by nine newsletters followed by Hulbert . . . "Don't watch TV, listen to the radio, read or talk while eating; if you do, you'll eat more than you need or want." (Nutrition Works, Seattle) . . . "Investors in money funds, T-bills or short CDs may wish they had locked in longer maturities." (Changing Times, Feb.) . . . Bankers, brokers: 'Excessive stress harms the immune system, decreasing your body's ability to fight disease, etc." (AgeLess: Living Younger Longer ($15.95) . . . "When you buy a municipal bond, be sure to ask details on call provisions." (Moneypaper, Jan.) . . . "Get ready for the next oil glut; the world is awash in black gold." (U. S. News & World report, Jan. 28)