Slipping 22 points yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 3,208.63, now 82 points below its peak but 575 points above its Jan. 1, 1991, level.
AND NOW WHERE? "Our four primary indicators allow for additional 1992 progress, with Dow Jones 3,300-3,500 reasonable six- to nine-month targets. Downside limited." (Bob Brinker's Marketimer) . . . . "I'm about 70 years old and I say the bull market will continue to climb its 'wall of worries' until long-awaited evidence of recovery appears. Then we'll have the worst bear market since the early 1980s. History shows that the rosier things look, the sharper and longer the plunge ahead will be." (Market Action, George Wineriter). . . . "We're early in the decline, seeing slow erosion which has more to go. We've seen this year's upside. Buy five-year, 7 percent Treasuries." (Michael Metz on "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser.")
LOOKING AHEAD: Continuing our publication of "Wall $treet Week" top stock pickers' 1992 selections, we list those of 1991 runner-up Harvey Eisen, whose stocks were ahead 81 percent last year: Chubb, Digital Equipment, Eastman Kodak, Egghead Software, Itel, McDonald's, Neiman Marcus, Primerica. This year, Mr. Eisen's stocks are ahead 7.8 percent.
BALTIMORE BEAT: T. Rowe Price Associates is listed under "Biggest 50 Investment Advisers" in Financial World, March 17. The firm's "stocks only" total return (gain plus income) last year stood at 39 percent, 60 percent for three years . . . . Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker (486-8010) will mail a strong buy recommendation on Telefonos de Mexico ("stock continues to be undervalued") . . . . Call Smith Barney's Rick Faby (494-1853) for Emerging Growth Stock Monthly, including a comment on new issues and their recent high activity level . . . . Annuity specialist Linda Schwab and I will discuss annuities and answer questions on WBAL Radio (phone 467-WBAL) Saturday, 8-9 a.m.
RECESSION UPDATE: Carl Hecht, CEO of U.S. Tag & Label Co. in Baltimore, told me, "Business was awful in midwinter, and we don't see much recovery. There's a slight pickup in labels but in our tag business -- a real economic barometer for 'Rust Belt America' -- we're just not getting it. Tags really reflect the economy -- inventory control tags, furniture, appliances, and so on.". . . Professor Harvey Solow, Harvard Nobel economist, said on "The McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour," "Recession will end eventually by itself, but to hasten recovery we need massive federal aid to state and local governments for public works. Also, the Fed must drop interest rates farther. Inflation is no problem now."
NOTES & QUOTES: Suggestion to parents: Take your children to work one day, if practical, and let them see how you earn your living. . . . The March 6 Kiplinger Letter says that homes are still in a buyer's market, that defense spending will be reduced more than President Bush wants, that direct marketers (Avon, Amway, etc.) will prosper this year and that business and pleasure travel will remain flat. . . . "If you had invested $10,000 in U.S. stocks one year ago, you would now have $11,530, in foreign stocks $10,091, in Treasury bonds $11,260, in gold $9,344." (Business Week). . . . "Mutual fund market is soaring as falling interest rates drive people into stocks and bonds." (Mutual fund ad) My question: What happens when interest rates begin to rise? Will we see this movie played backward? . . . . "Value Line, Too Lean, Too Mean?" is fascinating reading in Business Week, March 16. ("Anyone who signs out for the day before 5 p.m. or fakes arrival or departure time is subject to discharge.")