Stock market continues current rally for 5th day

The Ticker

December 10, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

The stock market edged higher yesterday, its fifth day of rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained almost 2 points on heavy volume, to close at 3,323.81.

LOOKING BACK: Here is how the stock market behaved under new presidents (first terms only), measured by annual percentage gains in the S.& P. 500-stock index: Truman 15 percent; Eisenhower 15; Kennedy 10; Johnson 6; Nixon 3; Carter Reagan 6, Bush 11 through Oct. 20, 1992. (Figures from Michael Suit, Merrill Lynch, 547-5148)

LOOKING AHEAD: "Stock returns are relatively low because the market is very high-priced on fundamentals, offering limited upside potential. We are concerned about a market correction and recommend a 50 percent money reserve." (Mutual Fund Forecaster) . . . "Stock market fundamentals are improving rapidly with after-tax corporate profits heading up 25 percent or better in 1992. Odds are that the next five years will be very kind to stock prices." (Dessauer's Journal)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL 1: Approaching deadlines: Dec. 31 is the last day to establish qualified retirement plans for calendar-year business and also the last day to take a 1992 tax loss on securities sales. Remember that the "trade date," rather than the settlement date, will determine the year in which a transaction is taxed. Therefore, any trade occurring on or before Dec. 31, 1992, whether a gain or a loss, will appear on your tax return. . . . And don't forget: After Jan. 1, do not take your retirement check personally or you'll be hit with a 20 percent withholding tax; have your money transferred to an IRA account in your name.

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL 2: "Most people who buy something that turns out to be less than expected just shrug it off as a bad buy. They don't think of taking it back for a refund or exchange, though most responsible stores will honor a legitimate complaint. Tips: Don't feel guilty about returning merchandise; have a valid reason; honesty works wonders; be polite but firm; wise retailers realize that being lenient with returns is good business." (Dollar Stretching Ideas)

BITS & PIECES: "IBM stock is now 61 percent off its 1987 high of $176 and although the stock now yields 7 percent, there are ominous signs of dividend risk. Income investors should not buy the stock." (PaineWebber analyst Stephen Smith in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, Dec.) . . . "Bank cards won't work in automatic teller machines if they're bent or demagnetized, and a card kept in a back pocket wallet may easily be bent or broken." (Consumer Reports) . . . "Did you know that misstated employment dates appear on one-third of all resumes because job-seekers cover up unemployment periods?" (Equifax) . . . "Spend time like money; you only have a limited supply." (Sam Horn, life-change consultant).

LOCAL NEWS: Legg Mason's December "Investor's Dozen" consists of American Express, Borden, Dep Corp., Fuqua, Greyhound, Humana, Instrument Systems, Eli Lilly, Media General, Octel Communications, Porta Systems and Premark International. . . . Ferris, Baker Watts' Michael Dougherty will mail a thoughtful piece, "Beware the Pundits," with specific examples, if you phone him at 659-4677.

DECEMBER DIARY: 10-year top-performing mutual funds in the latest S.& P. Mutual Fund Profiles, just received, are, in order: Merrill Pacific A, Fidelity Magellan, Fidelity Select Health, CGM Capital Development, Fidelity Destiny I and AIM Equity Constellation. . . . "Not getting negative feedback can mean you won't tolerate criticism -- and people are tired of arguing with you. Better: Force yourself to ask for advice. You don't have to take it, but learn to listen." ("If You Want Guarantees, Buy a Toaster: How to Survive Corporate Change" by Robert Hochheiser, $10) . . . The latest Kiplinger

Washington Letter predicts an investment tax credit of some sort under Bill Clinton, a 36 percent tax rate for high-income people and a small tax reduction for families under incomes of $80,000. . . . Merry-Go-Round and McCormick stocks hit 12-month highs this week. . . . On the Monday after the Pearl Harbor attack 51 years ago this week, the Dow Jones average dropped about 4 points, or 3.4 percent, the equivalent of 112 points at today's Dow level. . . . "Are you in the 28 or 31 percent federal tax bracket? If so, consider buying municipal bonds." (Louis Rukeyser) . . . "It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same." (Philip Gibbs, 1877-1962) . . . "A financier is a pawnbroker with imagination." (Arthur Wing Panero, 1855-1934)

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