Continuing to lose steam from its late-winter "Schwarzkopf rally," stocks backed and filled yesterday, edging out a one-point gain. When Wall Street opened today, the Dow Jones average stood at 2,874.50, still ahead 241 points for the year to date.
LOCAL LINGO: Phone the Rothschild Co. at 539-4660 for "The 1990s: Challenges Ahead." ("Stocks achieved a 17.4 percent annual return in the 1980s, not because profits rose at that rate, but because valuations rose from depressed to high levels. For the 1990s, investors' returns will have to be earned the hard way -- through earnings growth.") . . . Stephen Stauffer, Dean Witter Reynolds (547-7091), will mail "Strategem: On Schedule." ("The 600-point Dow explosion caught many by surprise, but the stock market is acting in perfect synchronization with the business cycle.") . . . With Daylight Savings Time here, get new Amtrak and airline schedules, as some train and flight arrivals and departures change. To receive the BWI Flight Guide regularly, phone 859-7034. Suggestion: Tuck the latest copy in your brief case when you travel. When out of town, it's always comforting and helpful to know what airline flies to BWI, and when, if your flight is canceled or delayed.
MARYLAND MEMOS: "There's much catching up to do for smaller capitalization, lower P/E ratio stocks, but they will more than erase the 1989 and 1990 under-performance. In the past, they always have." (Investment Counselors of Maryland) . . . "The next 60 days may not give back all the gains of the last 60, the way IBM did, but some pullback seems likely as animal spirits give way to more disinterested reflection." (Legg Mason) . . . CDs of these institutions appear in the latest issue of 100 Highest Yields: Custom Savings, Second National Federal Savings, Washington Savings, Maryland National Bank, Loyola Federal, Senator Savings, Equitable Federal Savings, Eastern Savings. (For subscription data, write the publication at P.O. Box 088888, N. Palm Beach, Fla. 33408.)
BITS & PIECES: The first quarter's best-performing large mutual funds were, in order (with percentage gains in parentheses): T. Rowe Price Science and Technology (43), Fidelity Select Medical (41), Twentieth Century Ultra (40), Fidelity Select Biotech (40). Top small funds were American Heritage (54), Prudent Speculator Leveraged (48), Oberweis Emerging Growth (43), Montgomery Small Cap (39) . . . A wise financial man told me that every time you send extra money to pay down a 10 percent mortgage, it's like buying a 10 percent CD.
APRIL SHOWERS: Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" spotlights the housing industry and its stocks . . . "The nation's money managers posted an 18.2 percent gain in first-quarter stock portfolios, beating the S&P 500 (14.5 percent gain) and the Dow Jones average (plus 11.6 percent)." (CDA Investment Technologies, Rockville) . . . To combat ever-lower interest rates, The Kiplinger Washington Letter suggests longer-term CDs, Treasury notes and bonds, high-grade corporate bonds and top-quality tax-free municipal bonds . . . Regarding municipals, Montgomery County issued new Housing Opportunity bonds the day before yesterday; check your bond dealer . . . Phone Harry B. Gorfine & Co. (539-5474) for "How Long Should You Retain Tax Records?" and other valuable tax data . . . Under Morris Smith, who succeeded Peter Lynch as manager, Fidelity Magellan Fund gained 10.5 percent vs. S&P 500, from June 1, 1990, to March 31, 1991 . . . "The 12-month outlook is bright." (Mutual Fund Forecaster) . . . "We'll have to wait until July or August before we get over DJ 3,000." (Don Hays, Wheat First Butcher & Singer) . . . "Stocks have lost momentum and may have to idle before gaining again." (Richard McCabe, Merrill Lynch) . . . Tomorrow we receive the March consumer price index.