As mass selling ebbed yesterday, stocks regained their balance and edged down a point and a half. At the opening bell today the Dow Jones index stood at 2,930.01, up 297 points this year.
WHAT THEY SAID (before Friday's plunge): "A positive factor is the market's internal dynamics. Downside risk is limited." (Hamilton Investments) . . . "Though they won't advance strongly, stocks should push into new high ground soon." (S&P Outlook) . . . "Historical studies suggest that we will see a positive performance between now and next November's election." (Dick Davis Digest) . . . "Institutional investors who dominate the stock market have not gotten the message that the economy will be far weaker in 1992 than analysts project." (LaLoggia Special Report) . . . "The media have investors scared silly, which is very bullish." (Kenneth Fisher, Forbes)
WHAT THEY SAID (after last Friday): "Risk is high." (Robert Farrell, chief analyst, Merrill Lynch) . . . "It's just another little crack in this mini-bull market." (Richard McCabe, Merrill Lynch) . . . "We're in for a 10 percent correction." (Barton Biggs, Morgan Stanley) . . . "It's not like we're dealing with a totally bad economy." (President Bush) . . . "This is no time to abandon stocks." (Frank Terizzi, Renaissance Investment) . . . "Stocks are a bit rich." (Jeffrey Poxon, Lafayette Life Insurance Co.) . . . "A crash isn't coming." (Leon Cooperman, Goldman Sachs) . . . "Buy a bottle of wine and sit back and watch." (Joseph Feshbach, lTC Feshbach Brothers)
LIGHTER SIDE: "That's certainly not a title you could sell in an airport, mister!" (Sales person in New York's LaGuardia terminal after being asked for a copy of John Kenneth Galbraith's 1929 stock market book, "The Great Crash.")
BALTIMORE BEAT: I will talk year-end money-saving strategies with you, Saturday from 8 to 9 a.m. on WBAL Radio . . . Norman Blake, CEO, USF&G, is pictured on the cover and written about (( in Business Week, Nov. 25. (Regarding slashing the payroll, Blake says, "it's the lifeboat theory. The boat can't hold everyone, and not everyone is contributing to the boat's forward motion.' ") . . . Read about Mayo Shattuck III, president of Alex. Brown & Sons, in Financial World, Nov. 26 . . . Legg Mason will mail its November investment letter ("If you are a long-term investor, there's no time you can afford to be out of the market.") . . . "Interest rate trends are constructive for stocks; gloom is overdone but stocks could be hurt by a double-dip recession." (Craig Lewis, Investment Counselors of Maryland)
ENDPAPERS: The best-performing investment club I ever had was a group of Baltimore engineers who invested and traded solely on facts, never on emotion . . . In the 1987 crash, stocks dropped 21 percent in one day; in the first three days of this sell-off, they edged four percent lower . . . McCormick just announced a 2 for 1 stock split; in the last four years the stock is up six-fold . . . If you had bought BG&E stock 10 years ago, you would now be receiving 21 percent return on your original investment and would have tripled your money . . . "For year-end tax savings, consider bond tax-loss swapping." (Dean Witter booklet, which Stephen Stauffer, 547-7000, will send you) . . . Tomorrow night, "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser" hosts Frederick Taylor, U.S. Trust chief investment officer.