Making a strong effort yesterday afternoon to close above 3,300 for the first time, the Dow Jones average slipped 22 points in late trading and closed at 3,268.56. The Dow now stands exactly 100 points above its Jan. 1 level.
LOOKING AHEAD: "Fed continues to accommodate; the type of momentum stocks generated in January puts the odds solidly in favor of higher prices next 3-5 months. Stay heavily invested if you have big paper profits, but if you have not participated, tread very lightly." (The Chartist) . . . . "I am not only looking for a correction, but hoping for one to put this market on more solid ground. The Dow could zoom to 4,000 next year, but danger lies in speculative stocks that drive the overall market down when investors realize their true worth and dump them quickly." (John Martone Letter.)
QUICKIE COMMENTS (in proportion received): "You won't make lot of money in stocks in 1992." (Kenneth Heebner, manager, top-performing CGM Capital Development Fund, in Forbes, March 2). . . . "Being one of the most expensive stock markets in the world doesn't mean U.S. stocks are about to crash. Markets can remain overvalued for a long time." (Dessauer's Journal) . . . . "We advise caution. Increase cash positions." (Vantage Securities). . . . "Cyclical stocks will hit a rough patch soon; growth stocks will rebound." (Safian Investment Research) . . . . "I've been fully invested in stocks for my whole career, but now I think bonds should be 40 percent of one's portfolio." (Frank Weil, Abacus & Associates).
BALTIMORE BEAT: Local investment adviser Eddie Brown, whose stock picks topped all "Wall $treet Week" panelists' selections last year, selects for 1992: Amgen, BMC Software, Fannie Mae, Harley-Davidson, Health Care Retirement, Little Switzerland, MBNA, NovaCare, Office Depot, Value Merchants and Vans Inc. . . . Myron Oppenheimer, investment chief, Security Trust/Maryland National Bank, says, "The way to increase income with minimal risk is to extend bond maturities. Spread between one-year and seven-year Treasury bonds has gone from 0.21 percent to 2.7 percent." (Phone 244-6569 for "Strategy Update."). . . . Baltimoreans may be interested in a Forbes (March 16) article about Bethlehem Steel, titled "Faded Glory." ("Burns Harbor, Ind., and Sparrows Point, Md., mill complexes account for 80 percent of Bethlehem's business.")
MARYLAND MEMOS: Giant Food, a Landover-based supermarket chain with 152 stores, and PHH, a Baltimore-based fleet and management relocation service firm, are favored by David Dreman, "The Contrarian," in Forbes, March 2. . . . T. Rowe Price International Stock Fund is recommended by four newsletters followed by Hulbert Financial Digest, February. . . . Smith Barney's Rick Faby (494-1853) will mail a strong General Motors buy recommendation, also a thoughtful piece which begins, "Speak softly about your winnings, recognize your limitations and keep things in perspective. A lesser return on your investments makes sense in exchange for a higher return on your life." . . . Phone Ferris, Baker Watts' Michael Dougherty (659-4677) for "Is the Stock Market Too High?" with graphs and charts.
MARCH WINDS: Barron's, dated March 2 and on newsstands this week, says the S&P 500 price-earnings ratio stands at 25 times earnings vs. 17 times one year ago. Historically, 25 times earnings stands at the high end of the scale. Before the 508-point crash in 1987, P/E ratios stood only slightly above today's levels. . . . Tomorrow night, "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser" features Oppenheimer and Co.'s technician Michael Metz.