After crisis, optimism NTC

The Ticker

August 22, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

Regaining Monday's 70-point loss -- and more -- the Dow Jones average surged 88 points yesterday on news of the failed coup attempt in the Soviet Union. It was the Dow's sixth-biggest gain in history.

The following two paragraphs show representative comparisons

between Wall Street sentiment before and after Monday's crisis in Moscow. There's more optimism now than before the crisis erupted.

MARKET WATCH (Before Russian crisis): "Market held up well during summer with some averages hitting peaks, but it looks tired, can't manage to stay over 3,000 for long." (Pad System Report) . . . "New high in DJ may occur near-term but if there's no follow-through a decline to 2,900 could follow." (Winell Report) . . . "Stocks are wildly overvalued." (LaLoggia's Special Report) . . . "Odds are that the market will go higher." (Martin Zweig) . . . "Investors should worry about Wall Street scandals; confidence is being shattered." (James Grant) . . . "Fundamental valuation shows stocks to be ever more excessively priced." (Mutual Fund Forecaster) . . . "I'm the gloomy person out there; no one is more bearish than me. The domino effect will take hold as we break down through technical levels." (Steven Leuthold)

MARKET WATCH (After upheaval): "A top mutual fund manager, whose portfolio is up 49 percent this year, bought heavily on the first afternoon of the Russian crisis." (CNBC Network) . . . "The decline should last no more than a day or two. Except for vodka and oil, Russia doesn't make anything anybody wants." (John Skeen, Montgomery Securities) . . . "Whenever they dump 'em, it's time to buy something, even if the Dow drops another 400 points." (Jerry Jordan, investment adviser) . . . "The coup is a non-event; it won't have any economic impact on us." (Stephen Leeb) . . . "When panics drive stocks down to unrealistically low prices, you buy, not sell." (Patricia Chadwick, Chancellor Management) . . . "It's real spooky; if Russia builds military strength and attacks East Germany, you won't be able to open the stock market." (Harvey Eisen)

BITS & PIECES: Referring to the Salomon Bros. government bond scandal, TV commentator George Will said, "Now, even Wall Street has its share of 'street' crime." . . . Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" is titled, "Dog Days Market," with guest Joseph Battipaglia, research chief, Gruntal & Co., and panelists Maceo Sloan, Harvey Eisen and Mr. Ticker . . . Databank: At week's beginning, Dow Jones price-earnings ratio was 22.8 times earnings vs. 12.7 last year, DJ dividends $3.08 vs. $4.10 a year ago, S&P P/E ratio 19.4 vs. 13.0 last year and dividends $3.16 vs. $3.72

BALTIMORE BEAT: I will answer your "money" questions on Saturday, 8-9 a.m., on WBAL Radio . . . Local stocks in recent 12-month new high listings include Black & Decker, BG&E, Potomac Electric Power, Washington Gas Light. (USF&G touched a 12-month low) . . . Potomac Electric appears in S&P Outlook (Aug. 21) under "Our Master List of 10 Recommended Issues." . . . Contact Legg Mason (539-3400) for "Utilities: The Case for Investing in Selected Electrics." . . . At a Pikesville pharmacy, Barron's jampacked 136-page National Business & Financial Weekly costs only $2.50, but a package of nine Dr. Scholl's corn cushions sells for $2.89; such injustice! . . . Overheard at a local corporate golf outing: "Two easiest shots in golf are the practice swing and the fourth putt." . . . "In Baltimore, Bank of Baltimore has the leading auto loan rate for new cars, same for home equity loans; Loyola Federal offers leading 30-year mortgage fixed rate and Heritage Savings is best for 30-year adjustable rate mortgages." (Money magazine, August) . . Morry Zolet, Ferris Baker Watts & Co., will send "Where the Market's Headed" if you phone 685-2600. ("Common sense supports Dow Jones 6,000 by end of this decade.")

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