'Bear' worries rule Wall St.

The Ticker

May 09, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

After the Dow Jones average touched 3,000 and promptly slid below the "magic number," many Wall Street observers turned bearish. With DJ stocks yielding only 3.4 percent and price-earnings ratios nearing 19, the market appears overpriced to many on Wall Street.

WALL STREET WATCH: In proportion received: "The broadening top is here. Not only is the party over, the Dow is headed for a 1,000-plus point fall." (California Technology Stock Letter) . . . "The stock market has gone about as high as it can for now without a pullback; some alarm bells are starting to ring." (Inefficient Market Hypothesis) . . . "We're well within our window of caution. The bulk of the gains for this advance have been made; further gains above DJ 2,950 will be laborious and limited." (Margo's Market Monitor) . . . "I'm hanging in there. Interest rates are down, and I'm bullish." (Martin Zweig) . . . "Six months from now things will be less than wonderful; many Dow Jones stocks are now fully valued." (Stan Weinstein, The Professional Tape Reader)

BALTIMORE WATCH: "The market has risen without sound reason; it's risen too far too fast and it's climbed above reasonable valuations. This is not a time to buy, it's a time to exit." (Adrian Day's Investment Analyst) . . . "With a little luck, even a blind squirrel can find an acorn. That pithy bit of homespun horse-sense describes superior results that many investors achieved recently as the market surged upward [but] when Johnny and Joanie come marching home from the gulf, they'll be coming home to a weak economy and an overpriced stock market." (Rex Rehfeld, Gruntal & Co.) . . . "The 1982 stock rally began with stocks at eight times earnings; simply, there was more room for stocks to move up in 1982 than there is today" (First National Bank).

MOM & MONEY: As Mother's Day nears, here are some quotes from my mother, Helen Gutman Westheimer, who "passed away," as she would have put it, 32 years ago. Mother was born on Jan. 31, 1881, on West Lexington Street, near where Martin Luther King Boulevard runs today. "Julius, always put money away for a rainy day." . . . "Julius, have Frank, the chauffeur, follow me while I run from stall to stall in Lexington Market to save a nickel." If challenged, her reply: "Don't argue with me, son, it isn't good for my 'condition.' " (Nobody was ever sure exactly what that "condition" really was).

MAY FLOWERS: Rather than use Hallmark's Mother's Day thoughts, why not write your own tribute either on a card or in a letter? . . . Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" hosts John Mueller, economist, on "The Bond Market," with panelists Alan Bond, Harvey Eisen and Mr. Ticker . . . On Monday, James Grant of "Grant's Interest Rate Observer" appears before the Security Analysts Society at the Tremont Plaza, noon . . . "McCormick has continued to meet or exceed expectations in recent quarters. Since our recommendation in March 1988, the stock has nearly quadrupled, with a near double since last April." (The Patient Investor) . . . Highest insured Baltimore money market and CD rates are now at Maryland National Bank, Custom Savings, Eastern Savings Bank, Senator Savings Bank, Loyola Federal. (Data from 100 Highest Yields, May 6) . . . Kiplinger Letter says that Social Security "notch babies" (born 1917-1926) won't get any breaks on benefits . . . "The Dow Jones 2,900-3,000 area will turn out to be a major top." (LaLoggia Special Report, just received) . . . Top 1990 market newsletter for "total return" performance was Your Window Into the Future, up 111 percent; for five years, MPT Review, ahead 244 percent. . . . "I did not have my mother long, but she was the making of me." (Thomas Edison) . . . "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back." (Soundings) . . . "You don't feel the splinters on a ladder until you start sliding down it." (Chinese proverb).

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