Slipping 1 1/2 points yesterday -- 12 days before Oriole Park at Camden Yards opens -- the Dow Jones average closed at 3,259.39. On April 15, 1954 -- the day the Orioles made their Memorial Stadium debut -- the DJ closed at 313.77 on a 2.2 million-share volume.
AND NOW WHERE? "Weakness could give intermediate to longer-term uptrend more life." (Robert Nurock). . . . "Too many people are too pessimistic. The market has dealt many times with vastly worse problems than those we face now." (Kenneth Fisher, Forbes, March 23). . . . "Current market valuation still suggests confidence that interest rates will decline enough to justify current valuations or that earnings will rise dramatically." (Rex Rehfeld, Gruntal & Co., Baltimore). . . . "Odds are better than even that you'll see Dow 6,000 by year 2000." (John Templeton). . . . "On March 18 the full moon accompanied the Mars and Pluto aspect, connoting anger and violence. Prudence suggests extreme caution." (Crawford Perspectives.)
BEST PICKS: Today we conclude our series of 1991 top stock pickers' 1992 selections. Coming in fourth last year of 28 panelists on "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser," Merrill Lynch's William Waters selects Abbott Labs, American Barrick Resources, American Family, Cabletron Systems, Capital Holdings, EMC Corp., Gillette, Genzyme, Standard Federal Bank, Intelligent Electronics, U.S. Healthcare, Valero Energy. Mr. Waters' selections were up 70 percent last year.
BALTIMORE BEAT: Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker (486-8010) will mail Mid-Atlantic Bank & Thrift Quarterly with recommendations, including Centura Banks, Pilgrim Regional Bankshares and First Financial Fund. . . . Call Dean Witter's Jack Rosenbloom (547-7027) for Finding Higher Yields in the Fixed Income and Equity Markets. ("If your CD is coming due soon, you're probably feeling interest rate shock. Read on."). . . . Top insured CD yields locally are at Custom Savings, Eastern Savings Bank, Washington Savings Bank (Waldorf), Loyola Federal. (From 100 Highest Yields, March 16.)
DATABANK: Barron's, on newsstands this week, runs a fascinating "Percentage Annual Rates of Return" comparison for different investments and time spans. For example, for the past 10 years, here are annual percentage gains: stocks (S&P 500 index) 17; small stocks 12; emerging growth stocks 12; Treasury bills 8; inflation 4; U.S. government bonds 15; U.S. farmland 3; residential housing 4; commercial realty 7; art 12; Japanese stocks 19.
ANOTHER ANGLE: "You don't have to be Jewish to love Israel bonds," says Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, April, adding, "The bonds have attractive yields that could climb if interest rates rise. Minimum rate is 7.5 percent and twice a year the rate is adjusted." For details, phone 484-6670.
MARYLAND & MORE: Tomorrow night, locally produced "Wall $treet Week" features "Value Investing" with guest John Rogers, president, Ariel Capital Management, and panelists Michael Holland, Bernadette Murphy, Robert Stovall. . . . Thursday, April 2, Baltimore Security Analysts welcome Paul Bialock, corporate manager, investor relations of BellSouth Corp., at the Hyatt at noon. . . . . "Bonds are the house you live in." (My father). . . . . Rick Faby, Smith Barney (494-1853) will mail his firm's report, Middle Capitalization Stocks." ("As the Latin saying goes, 'You will go most safely by the middle course.' ". . . . .