'Brand-name' issues gain, push Dow up 31.61 points

The Ticker

April 13, 1993|By Julius Westheimer

Powered by impressive gains in battered "brand-name" issues, stocks moved higher yesterday. The Dow Jones industrial average posted a solid 31.61-point advance, closing at 3,428.09. Dow gainers included AT&T, Disney, GE, Merck, Philip Morris and Procter & Gamble.

Investors were also cheered by low inflation figures, falling interest rates and higher corporate earnings. On the gloomy side, U.S. Surgical slipped another point, closing at $30.12. The local favorite had touched $118 in the last 12 months.

STEP FORWARD: "Starting June 21, the Truth in Savings Act mandates that savings institutions must pay interest on the full amount of a depositor's balance. Before then, financial institutions could pay interest only on the investable balance -- sometimes as much as 10 percent less than the total held in the account. Catch: banks and savings and loans can still set minimum balance requirements -- dates when deposits begin accruing interest -- and compounding policies. While these items must now be disclosed when new accounts are opened, explanations may be confusing. Better way: Tell the institution how much you can deposit and for what term and say, 'Just tell me how much in dollars I will get back.' Then, compare banks." ("The Bank Book" by Edward Mrkvicka Jr., $21.95)

YOUR GOOD TURN: Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, 411 LTC Cathedral St., across from the Enoch Pratt Free Library, tells us that its latest "emergency needs" are sliced bread, sandwich baggies, laundry detergent, powdered drink mixes, paper products (napkins, cups, towels), milk and desserts. "Additional" needs include sugar, toilet tissue, jelly, No. 10 cans of vegetables, soap bars, tea bags and peanut butter. And O.D.B. can always use money, checks of any amount. Please help.

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "To write better business letters, avoid pompous words and stilted phrases in an effort to impress your reader. Write as if you're talking to a neighbor over the back fence. If people understand what you say, they'll understand you when you write. Use common words and phrases such as OK, good deal, no sweat, and contractions -- won't instead of will not, etc." ("21 Days to Unlimited Power with People" by James VanFleet, $11.95)

TRAVEL TIP: When checking in at a hotel or motel, book a room near an elevator; never accept a room with a single lock or one without a peephole; beware of unexpected deliveries, and call the front desk to check if it is legitimate before opening the door; late at night, request that a hotel employee escort you to your room; check insurance coverage for the hotel safe." (Conde Nast Traveler)

MONEY SAVERS: Here, from the latest "Dollar Stretching Ideas," are money-saving ideas which may help your budget: "Examine your insurance policies to make sure you're not paying for the same coverage twice . . . Ask your travel agent for a package rather than an individual booking; it's usually cheaper . . . Before calling long distance, list the subjects you want to discuss, so you won't forget something and have to call back . . . When your doctor writes a prescription, ask for free promotional samples . . . Always use a company's 800 number; to find what it is, call 800 information at 1 (800) 555-1212 . . . Go to movies early in the day when tickets cost less . . . Have someone in the family cut your hair . . . Supermarkets put high-profit items at eye level; bend down or reach up for bargains.

APRIL SHOWERS: "Do you remember the days when CDs paid more than 9 percent? But what year was that? Try 1989. The downturn in savings yields is now reaching its four-year anniversary." ("100 Highest Yields") . . . In Money magazine, April, Baltimore's First Advantage Mortgage is listed under "Leading 30-Year Adjustable Mortgages," Loyola Federal appears under "Leading 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages" and Fairfax Savings is under "Leading Car Loans in Largest Metro Areas" . . . In the same issue, here, in order, are some of the "50 Top Occupations": Computer systems analyst, physical therapist, operations analyst, psychologist, travel agent." . . . Maryland "Single-State" tax-free bond funds are listed under "Selected Single-State Muni Funds" in S&P Outlook, March 31.

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