Opening Day financial notes

The Ticker

April 08, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

On the Orioles' first Opening Day at Memorial Stadium, Friday, April 15, 1954, the Dow Jones average closed at 313.77, up two points for the session which traded only 2,200,000 shares. Today, the average daily volume is about 150,000,000 shares.

Just seven months later, on Nov. 23, 1954, the Dow indicator, after what seemed like an endless 25-year climb, closed at 382.74, finally breaking through its pre-crash peak of 381.17, reached in a buying frenzy on Sept. 3, 1929. In the meantime, the Dow had sunk to its all-time Depression low of 41.22 on July 8, 1932.

Here are some food and beverage price from 1954's Opening Day (with today's costs in parentheses): Esskay hot dog and roll, 25 cents ($1.50); Gunther and National Bohemian beer, 30 cents ($3, different brands); small soda, 15 cents ($1); large soda, 25 cents ($2); ice cream, 15 cents (frozen yogurt $1.75); peanuts, 10 cents ($2.25).

Other prices on Opening Day 1954: popcorn, 15 cents; hot chocolate, 20 cents; Levering coffee with Royal Dunloggin cream, 15 cents; Becker's potato chips, 15 cents; Austin's peanut butter sandwiches, 10 cents; El Producto cigars, 16 cents; Phillies cigars, 11 cents; scorebooks, 15 cents; rental seat cushion, 15 cents; and rental seatbacks, 25 cents.

And the Dow Jones average? In the 37 years since Opening Day in 1954, the Dow indicator, through last Friday had climbed 2,583 points, or 822 percent, a good stock market inflation hedge against Memorial Stadium hot dogs, not so great against peanuts. You figure out the rest.

AND NOW 1991: "In recession job-hunting, how often have you tried to reach a potential networking contact by telephone, only to be derailed by a determined secretary?" asks National Business Employment Weekly, dated April 7, on newsstands this week. Excerpts: "These days, chances are you won't reach your party. . . Two words describe how you approach receptionists, secretaries, etc.: 'pleasant persistence'. . . Sell that person on letting you reach your contact. . . Get it across that you know the manager is busy and that you only need a few minutes. . . If you're asked the nature of your call, quickly deliver a 'hook' statement to catch interest, like, 'You've heard of computer viruses; I've devised a system that stops them.'. . . Fill the call with so many 'hooks' that people trying to block your call will decide they're in over their heads and send you through.' " The entire article, including what to do when you finally get in to see the boss, is worth studying.

To obtain back copies of this excellent publication, send $5 to National Business Employment Weekly, P.O. Box 300, Princeton, N. J., 08543-0300, Attn: Tony Lee.

SPRING SNIPPETS: Federal and Maryland income taxes are due one week from midnight tonight. . . "Don't take a vacation if your reason is to escape a problem at work or home; refusing to face a problem insures its continuation when you return." (Tension Turnaround by Sharon Faelton, $12.95). . . "The secret of patience is to do something else in the meantime." (Soundings, April). . . Regarding the above, the late Michael Spear, Rouse Co. CEO who died in a plane crash last year, was once trapped in an elevator for several hours and, as he later told associates, "I just sat down, opened my briefcase and worked until they got me out.". . . "Keep a notepad and pencil by your bedside, in your kitchen and in your car for 'great ideas' you think of." (Super Memory by Douglas Herrmann, $21.95)

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