In the wake of a two-day, 7 percent Nikkei index free fall, the Dow Jones average dropped 32 points yesterday after a 62-point plunge Tuesday. When stocks opened today the Dow stood at 3,181.35, only 3.3 percent below its 3,290.25 peak, whereas Japan's index wallowed 54 percent under its 38,915 record high.
WHICH WAY NOW? (in proportion received): "Because the Nikkei index is now down over 50 percent, some Japanese stocks look attractive." (Deborah Allen on "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser"). . . "When Tokyo sneezes, Wall Street catches a cold." (Old saying). . . "Stocks recently reached high valuation extremes not seen in history. We're at an intermediate top. Remember, stocks dropped 70 percent between 1968 and 1974." (Peter Eliades). . . "A 'real' bear market will come again. Risks are now abnormally high, potential rewards low." (Charles Will Investments). . . "This remains a bull market until proven otherwise." (The Chartist). . .'Treasury bonds are in a major bear market; prices could be cut in half." (Prechter's Global Perspective). . . "A man may know what to do but still lose money if he doesn't do it quickly enough." (Jesse Livermore.)
LOCAL VIEWS: "Voting Your Proxies," a Rothschild Co. letter by research director Joseph Wikler, says, "Shareholders are owners of the corporation. Your shares should be voted in a way that will maximize your ownership position. If management tries to weaken your powers of ownership or enrich itself with excessive stock options, we will vote against those proposals." For complete letter, phone the firm, 539-4660 . . . Stephen Stauffer, Dean Witter (547-7000) will mail his firm's latest "Strategem Letter," which has been remarkably accurate in previous years, including a written "Buying Opportunity" forecast 18 months ago when the Dow index stood at 2,500 . . . Legg Mason includes Bell Atlantic in its April "Investor's Dozen" recommendations.