Stocks perk up on lower rates

The Ticker

March 14, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

Reversing direction after four "down" days, the Dow Jones average gained 32.68 points yesterday, advancing on hopes of lower interest rates. The DJ indicator opened today at 2,955.20, up 590 points (25 percent) from last October's low.

NAMES & FACES: In the first staff addition in its history, The Rothschild Co., whose investment performance has far outpaced the S&P 500-stock average since 1973 inception, just added Joseph Klein III and Gregory Watson as senior investment executives. The firm handles 400 accounts with $800 million under management . . . Legg Mason will send its 52-page, jampacked March Institutional Monthly if you call or write. The first page says, "Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. (Publillius Syrus.)" . . . Program note: I will answer your money questions this Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. on WBAL Radio . . . On Tuesday, March 19, Security Analysts spotlight GATX stock, Tremont Plaza Hotel at noon. James Glasser, chairman, will speak.

BALTIMORE & BEYOND: Myron Oppenheimer, vice-president for investments, Security Trust (Maryland National Bank), says, "The Dow Jones average is up about 10 percent this year, 22 percent from its October low. While cautious, we are not negative, although some cyclical stocks are ahead of their earnings and some stable growers may be extended. Market timing continues to be a loser's game. Be careful, be selective, buy quality." . . . "Stocks are not bargains today, with the S&P average sporting a 17 price-earnings ratio and a three percent dividend yield. Be prepared to exit this market at some point in the not-too-distant future." (Mutual Fund Forecaster) . . . "Indicators on balance are positive." (The Zweig Report)

MARCH WINDS: Forbes, March 4, calls these dividends "endangered": American Express, Boise Cascade, Ford, GTE, Pennzoil, Southwest Gas, Williams Cos . . . Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, Joppa, Md., is listed under "Companies With 20 Percent-Plus Estimated Earnings Gains" in S&P Outlook, March 8 . . . Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" is titled "What Business Thinks of the Economy" with guest Gail Fosler, chief economist, The Conference Board, and panelists Monte Gordon, Louis Holland, Carter Randall . . . Abbott Labs, Homestake Mining, Philip Morris, Placer Dome and Synoptics are recommended by eight newsletters followed by Hulbert Financial Digest.

NOTES & QUOTES: Ticker warning: The Dow Jones industrials' price-earnings ratio now stands at 17 times earnings vs. 11.9 times earnings one year ago this week, according to Barron's (March 11), on newsstands this week. Earnings are for the past 12 months . . . "It is impossible to please all the world, and one's father." (Jean de la Fontaine) . . . "We're in a recession, corporate earnings are down, stocks are still overpriced and the Dow Jones average will drop back to 2,400." (Deborah Allen, president, Claremont Economics Institute) . . . "David Bostian, investment strategist for Jessup, Josephthal & Co. sees the DJ index at 5,000 by 1995. He predicted the crash of 1987 and the subsequent recovery." (Dick Davis Digest). . . The Kiplinger letter says that individuals looking for jobs in the Kuwait reconstruction should begin with state employment offices; also, Bechtel Engineering Corp. is hiring data processors, engineers, etc., for the Kuwait cleanup. (Write Bechtel Engineering Dep't., Box 193965, San Francisco, Calif. 94119) . . . The Fixed Income Letter (March) says zero coupon bonds are ideal for future college bills, which in 18 years could reach $200,000 for four years. See your broker . . . "Any time you think you have influence, try ordering around someone else's dog." (Bits & Pieces) . . . "Wall Street's graveyards are filled with men who were right too soon." (William Hamilton) . . . "Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund." (F. J. Raymond)

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