Building on Tuesday's feeble 3-point rise, the Dow Jones average boomed ahead 25 points yesterday, closing at 3,333.18.
When Wall Street opened today, the Dow indicator stood 33 points below its all-time high, 164 points above its Jan. 1, 1992, level and 2,484 points (no misprint), or 292 percent, above its close 10 years ago -- namely DJ 849 on April 29, 1982. (Decimals dropped.)
LOOKING BACK: With May on the horizon, we note that over the past 40 years, May was the year's second-worst Wall Street month, edging off on average 0.5 percent. Only September was worse, off 0.7 percent. . . . November is historically the year's best month, up 1.7 percent. . . . Speaking of "bests" and "worsts," Monday is traditionally Wall Street's worst day, off on average 44 percent since 1952. . . . The best day is Friday, up 58 percent. . . . The 2 p.m. hour is strongest, gaining 52 percent over the previous hour through 4 decades. . . . "Historically, May-June disasters in Wall Street have been uncommon in presidential election years because incumbent administrations shamelessly try to massage the economy so voters will press the right levers in November, keeping the administration in power." (1992 Stock Trader's Almanac.)
LOOKING AHEAD: "Drug and pharmaceutical stocks are off about 20 percent from their highs, probably good buys now." (John Schaefer, waiter, Il Giardino restaurant, Route 40). . . . "Government bond 8.10 percent yields are now giving stocks stiff competition. Stocks are overvalued by 10 to 15 percent." (Hugh Johnson, First Albany Corp.). . . . "The next phase in the bull market will start in about two weeks." (Don Hays, investment strategist). . . . "Profits will not grow fast enough to warrant a Dow much above 3,300." (Dessauer's Journal). . . . "The American bubble will sooner or later go the way of the Japanese bubble." (Grant's Interest Rate Observer). . . . "If you want to make money, mix with people who are making money." (Dollars and Sense, 1920.)
BALTIMORE BEAT: Baltimore Security Analysts presents Michael G. Atieh, treasurer of Merck & Co. on Monday at the Stouffer's at noon. Ask your broker to take you ($30); this stock has been a real winner. . . . Legg Mason (539-3400) will mail its Research Weekly with comments on Baltimore Bancorp ("Over the next 12 months, the risk in this stock, now around $5, is to $3 with reward to $7 or $8.") and MNC Financial ("Maryland National will certainly survive but will have difficulty earning money from operations until at least year end."). . . . Phone Ferris, Baker Watts' Michael Dougherty (659-4677) for a fine, 25-point illustrated brochure, "How To Use Your Stockbroker," with charts and graphs. ("Brokers cannot read minds; the more you tell your broker about your 'money personality,' the better he can help you.")
MARYLAND & MORE: Signet Banking is included under "Companies to Look At" in David Dreman's Forbes (April 27) column. . . . Tomorrow night, Maryland Public Television's "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser" surveys "The Economic Outlook" with guest Peter L. Bernstein and panelists Howard (Pete) Colhoun, Harvey Eisen and Monte Gordon. . . . U.S. Surgical stock, widely held in this area, and T. Rowe Price Small Cap Fund are listed under "Selected Issues" in Financial World, April 28. . . . Did you know that nobody holds a patent on the invention of the computer? (CNN News). . . . "Now's the time to buy a house," says Money magazine, adding, "with fixed-rate mortgages as low as 8.4 percent vs. 10.2 a year ago, you can buy more house for the same money." . . . . Mercantile Safe-Deposit & Trust Co. says, "Recent evidence supports our forecast for a substantial recovery in the economy. Our 'Emphasis List' of stocks includes Amoco, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Keystone International, Minnesota Mining.". . . . "When an investment letter claims a golden touch, say, 'Show me your stocks and show me the results.' " (Mark Hulbert). . . . "The Japanese stock market is 50 percent cheaper than it was in early 1990, but it's still no bargain. Look out below!" (A. Gary Shilling, economist.)