Dow reverses downtrend, closes off 8

The Ticker

March 23, 1993|By Julius Westheimer

Reversing a 30-point midday setback, the Dow Jones industrial average staged a partial recovery in late trading yesterday. The closely-watched indicator dropped 8.10 points, closing at 3,463.48. The Dow is up 162 points, or 5 percent, for the year to date.

NOTES & QUOTES: A Baltimore real estate lawyer told me, "The commercial real estate depression isn't nearly over. The 1986 Tax Reform Act really killed that sector." . . . The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter says that EE savings bonds are still appropriate for investors seeking short-term yield as the interest rates outrun short-term CDs and are free of state income taxes . . . "Fast-growing, privately-owned enterprises are keeping the unemployment rate steady despite layoffs at Boeing, IBM, etc. The big companies are firing, but small firms are hiring." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, April) . . . Ticker suggestion: Regarding the above, job-seekers should first contact small businesses in their own neighborhoods, apply before 10 a.m., don't smoke and be sure to say, "I really want this job!"

WORKPLACE HEALTH: "Choose to Snooze: Smart Cats Know How to Nap" is the title of a good story in Men's Health, May. Excerpts: "Thomas Edison curled up under his desk for a daily siesta and still found time to invent the light bulb . . . Studies show that people who nap 30 minutes have a 30 percent lower incidence of heart trouble than non-nappers . . . Napping increases your alertness later in the day, leaves you refreshed . . . Ideal nap time is 2 to 3 p.m." . . . "Business people, start your 'power lunch' with soup. A tomato soup appetizer reduces calories by 25 percent compared with a cheese-and-cracker appetizer." (Johns Hopkins University study) . . . Johns Hopkins Hospital ranks No. 1 for "Preventive Medicine" under "Programs Named Best by Medical-School Deans" in U.S. News & World Report, March 22.

MARYLAND MEMOS: Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Co. (Richard Kodenski) says, "Regarding stocks, continue to ride this train for a while but begin looking for a place to jump. Our 'good values' list includes Johnson & Johnson, Lubrizol, Pfizer, United Technologies and Pacific Telesis." . . . Evergreen Enterprises, Laurel, sells for $28.95 an annual "Directory of Companies Offering Dividend Reinvestment Plans." Write the firm c/o P.O. Box 763, Laurel, Md. 20725 . . . U.S. Surgical Co., founded in Baltimore, is listed under "Companies With Four Straight Years of Rising Margins" in S&P Outlook, March 17. The stock is widely held in this area.

MORE ON MARYLAND: Here are 1992 percentage returns for some T. Rowe Price no-load mutual funds: Small-Cap Value, 20.9; New Horizons and New America Growth, 15.3; Equity Income, 14.1. Phone 547-2000 for details and a prospectus . . . USF&G stock reached a 12-month high last week, closing at $17.62 a share. In mid-1991 you could have bought all you wanted around $5.75; with courage and not too much risk you could have almost tripled your money . . . Mercantile Bank stock also hit a 12-month high last week . . . For a written "buy" recommendation on Black & Decker, phone Legg Mason's Gerald Scheinker at 486-8010 ("Assuming only a modest economic recovery over two years, we believe B&D can more than double its earnings."

WALL STREET WATCH: Of about 30 commentaries I read over the weekend, 65 percent were pessimistic. Here is a representative sample: "Unfortunately, if we hit Dow Jones 3,600 my math hasn't a higher number to go to. If lower interest rates can't improve our economy, it's down the chute for all." (Long & Short Letter) . . . "The chorus of 'Dow 3,600 here we come' is loud and strong, but remember, the market rarely rewards the majority." (Jeff Bower's Guru Revue) . . . "The market is becoming increasingly vulnerable to stronger down movements, another sign it may be too late to jump on this aging bull." (Just the Facts Market Analysis) . . . "Stocks and bonds may rest, but the bull market cycle for each remains intact." (United & Babson Report) . . . "Market indicators remain positive with not too much optimism among advisers despite a 1993 high in advisory-service bulls." (Investor's Intelligence) . . . "Except for a probable technical rally in Japan, the world's stock market rallies seem to be on borrowed time." (Dines Letter) . . . "Inflation is still a threat; remember that higher taxes will be passed on to consumers in the form of price increases." (Carter Randall) . . . "I'm not bearish on stocks because the first year of a Democratic administration is usually bullish." (Robert Stovall)

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