Good news propels stocks

The Ticker

January 31, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

Charging ahead from the opening bell, stocks moved broadly higher yesterday. On the heels of a positive Leading Economic Indicators report, the Dow Jones average zoomed 50 1/2 points, closing at DJ 2,713.12, now up 3 percent for the year to date.

WAR & WALL STREET: "A shooting war in the Persian Gulf should not have a long-term effect on stocks." (No-Load Investor) . . . "Stay cautious until events in the Persian Gulf become clearer." (Robert Farrell, Merrill Lynch) . . . "It's impressive that the Bush administration talks about a war lasting months, not weeks, and involving bloody ground fights, and stocks still go up." (Kenneth Spence, Salomon Bros.) . . . "There is hardly a Wall Street pundit not warning of the potential of this rally to be reversed as quickly as it has come." (The Trader, Barron's, Jan. 28) . . . "Once the euphoria wears off, people will realize that the Middle East situation creates many other problems and does nothing to solve troubles in our economy, which caused the bear market in the first place." (Wellington Letter)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Next week, the Treasury issues new three, 10 and 30-year notes and bonds, rates expected to be around 7.3, 8 and 8.2 percent, respectively. Call the Baltimore Federal Reserve branch at 576-3553 for details . . . "Increasing the deductible to $500 from $200 could reduce your auto collision coverage cost by 15 to 30 percent." (Insurance Information Institute) . . . "Don't make a charity donation of an asset that has depreciated to less than your cost. Better idea: sell it and donate the proceeds. You get the tax deduction for the loss, also for the cash contribution." (Ernst & Young Tax Saving Strategies)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: My father, who was born 119 years ago today, took me downtown often during the Depression. One day 1932, standing at Calvert and Redwood streets near his brokerage office, he pointed to a well-dressed man and said, 'Son, that man was once a prosperous insurance salesman and today he brings a sandwich to work, but doesn't have a nickel for a cup of coffee." . . . I wish I had listened more to what Dad tried to tell me about investments but, as a teen-ager, I was too busy playing golf and chasing girls, both equally badly. He warned me, in 1952, to put only half of what I had planned to invest into a department store business; had I listened, I would have saved many thousands of dollars.

Recently-unearthed excerpts of other things Dad wrote or told me, relating to money: "Buy stocks when brokers' offices are empty . . . Don't speculate or buy on margin or you will lose your shirt . . . Bonds are the house you live in . . . When reading magazines on the train, don't take yours to the club car; read theirs and save yours for bedtime." And this 1941 classic, which many readers have asked me to repeat, verbatim: "Son, don't order that combination ham-and-cheese sandwich; order a ham sandwich and a cheese sandwich instead, because this way you get twice as much bread." I miss you, Dad.

BALTIMORE & BEYOND: A Catonsville resident told me that his father, in 1917, bought a new row house in Irvington for $1,400, with these terms: $5 down and $5 a week . . . "Emphasis List" for Mercantile Bank & Trust Co. includes AMP, Deere, Intel, Witco, K mart, Lincoln National, Potlatch . . . Gerald Scheinker, Legg Mason at 486-8010 will mail a worthwhile piece, "Market Performance, Calendar Year 1990," with good charts and graphs . . . Baltimore Security Analysts host American Gas Association, Feb. 13, noon, Stouffer Hotel . . . "Year-to-date (Jan. 24), the NASDAQ industrials are up a solid 6.4 percent, while the Dow Jones industrials are ahead only 0.4 percent." (Smith Barney via Rick Faby) . . . Japan's National Tax Agency assessed one square yard of "prestigious" Tokyo land in the Ginza shopping district at $250,000

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