Strikes may be a sign of strength

The Ticker

June 25, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

Edging up despite the rail strike, the Dow Jones average added five points yesterday, closing at 3,290.70. In this context I recall something my father, a New York Stock Exchange member, once told me: "Son, contrary to what people may tell you, don't sell good stocks on strike news. Strikes generally mean that business is good."

WHERE FROM HERE? "Stocks have held up thanks to bond strength, but momentum is breaking down and weakness plus deflation will accelerate the bear trend. Remain in cash." (CS Technical Investor). . . . "I won't predict a new bear market but I'm clearly worried that we're near a top and vulnerable to a correction of several hundred points." (Ripples in The Wave). . . . "12 months from now the Dow Jones average is more likely to be higher than lower." (Dessauer's Journal). . . . "Many growth stocks have fallen to where they are once more attractive." (Ruta Financial Newsletter). . . . "Next market move will be to the upside." (Weber's Fund Advisor).

SICK MARKETS? Barron's, June 22, runs an especially cheerless market forecast by two highly regarded professionals. In an article, "Track of the Bear: Two World-Class Pros Size Up Faltering Stock Markets," Jim Rogers and George Noble express their views. Excerpts from both: "You don't have to be a genius to notice that most stocks have been going down. That action has always meant serious problems ahead. . . . I'm very bearish; we've been 'short' all year. . . . This is not the type of environment that breeds rising markets. . . . A crash may come later. You usually don't have crashes right off the top."

INVESTING $1,000: Money magazine, July, in a cover story "Where to Put $1,000 Now," recommends the following no-load mutual funds which take initial $1,000 or smaller investments: 20th Century Growth, Janus, Nicholas, Gabelli Growth, Columbia Growth, Scudder Growth & Income, SteinRoe Prime Equities and Pax World. For bonds, the article suggests Strong Short-Term Bond and Scudder Short-Term Bond Fund. (For funds' toll-free numbers, dial 800 information, 1 (800) 555-1212.)

LOOKING AHEAD: Tomorrow, "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser" spotlights "The Future Interest Rate Outlook" with guest Maureen O'Toole, research director, Rodman & Renshaw, and panelists Deborah Allen, Alan Bond and Harvey Eisen. . . . One week from tomorrow, W$W holds its annual "Mid-Year Review" with panelists Laszlo Birinyi, Howard "Pete" Colhoun, John Dessauer and Robert Stovall. . . . Speaking of looking ahead, a reader writes: "I was a recent guest in a beautiful Chinese garden and on a high wall there was a brass plate which, when translated from Chinese, read, 'Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think.' "

BALTIMORE BEAT: Baltimore has the second highest "hopeful outlook for home prices among the 50 largest U.S. cities," says Money magazine, July. A chart shows that a Baltimore house (median price $115,000) will on average show a 2.95 percent price increase in the next 12 months. Only Chicago tops our city. Following Baltimore, in order, are Cleveland, San Antonio, Miami and Pittsburgh. The story says, "Topping the list are the older industrial cities of Chicago, Baltimore and Cleveland, where employment has been strong and home prices didn't soar during the 1980s." Data is from WEFA Group, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

MARYLAND & MORE: A local yard-sale junkie told me, "If a sale starts at 8 a.m., be there no later than 7:45. Any later and the good stuff will be gone." . . . Procter & Gamble and Potomac Electric Power appear under "Master List of Recommended Issues" in Standard & Poor's "Midyear Forecast" Outlook, June 17. . . . T. Rowe Price International Stock Fund is listed under "Recommended Mutual Funds" in the same issue. . . . "Two can live as cheaply as one, if they both have good jobs." (Melvin Maddocks).

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