If you're depressed about the Dow, look to 1996

The Ticker

August 20, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

When the Dow Jones average slipped 22 points yesterday to close at 3,307.46, I searched and found this cheerful aspect: If the Dow index gains as much, percentage-wise, as it did from the 1988 Republican convention to today (up 62 percent from DJ 2,030), the DJ will reach 5,357 by the 1996 GOP conclave. No guarantees, however, from this corner.

WHAT NEXT? "Odds are against the stock and bond markets diverging. It happens only 1/20th of the time. With bonds strong, stocks will move up soon." (Eldon Mayer, investment adviser) . . . "At some point investors will stop focusing on interest rates and start watching earnings, which are weak. We've reached that point." (Byron Wien, chief strategist, Morgan Stanley) . . . "This may be the last chance for people to buy some cyclical stocks that have been hurt by economic slowdown fears." (Donald Smith, money manager).

BALTIMORE BEAT: "We don't share inflation complacency. While odds are small on 'high' inflation next year, we expect the gross domestic product to reach 5 percent in 1993 and a 5 percent inflation rate is possible. The bond market is now discounting a rate like that." (Investment Counselors of Maryland) . . . "One reason that bond yields are still high is that the relevant inflation outlook is for the 10-year or 30-year span, not merely the next two or three years." (Rick Faby, Smith Barney's Baltimore office) . . . T. Rowe Price's Science Fund is listed under "The Best of The Bunch" for Oct. 1, 1990-June 30, 1992, performance in Barron's, dated Aug. 17, on newsstands this week. The fund gained 71.9 percent in that period . . . Sorry to report this, but Rouse Co. stock landed in the 12-month "New Low" listings earlier this week, touching 12 1/2 . Within the past year, the stock traded as high as 21 1/4 .

HOUSE ORGAN HUNT: "Early this year B.G.& E. began measuring not only customers' opinions of our products and services but also asking pointed questions about what they want from us. We took a sampling that assures about 95 percent accuracy. Results: Providing dependable service with few interruptions came out on top, while bringing power back quickly following an interruption came in second. Also, having courteous and helpful employees was judged more important than keeping rates low." ("VIP," B.G.& E. house organ.) . . .

"In Christopher Columbus' day, spices were extremely valuable. A pound of ginger could buy a sheep. Many towns in Elizabethan times kept their records 'in pepper,' with taxes and rents paid in pepper. Spice was on a par with currency." ("People," McCormick & Co. house organ.)

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Friends and colleagues are more useful than you think; if they pick up flaws in your thinking, think some more." (New Business Survival Guide) . . .

"When you criticize employees, do it without attacking them personally." (Working Woman) . . . "Love your employees. Give them an environment where they can learn, make mistakes, grow, excel and prosper. Then they will put their energy and wisdom back into your company. Care about them as persons and above all, make sure everyone is having fun." (Nation's Business, Aug.) . . .

"We have a system that emphasizes, 'Whatever it takes to satisfy the customer is why we are in business.'" (Roger Staubach, Heisman Trophy football winner, now real estate consultant.)

MIDSUMMER MEMOS: The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter (Aug. 14) reminds readers that economic conditions are the principal factor which decide how most people vote. The letter adds that these perceptions favored George Bush in 1988, but won't this time . . . "Health insurance premiums for small companies increased by an average of 23 percent in the past year." (INC magazine) . . . "The words, 'That's not my department, let me transfer you' is a Number One killer of customer service." (Success magazine).

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