Dow backs off from record, loses 11.62

The Ticker

April 20, 1993|By Julius Westheimer

Giving back about half of Friday's 22 1/2 -point run-up to a record finish, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 11.62 points yesterday, closing at 3,466.99. The Dow utility average also eased, breaking an 11-day string of advances.

WALL ST. WISDOM: "Super-safe IRA investments lock in returns too low to keep up with inflation. Stock funds are better for risk-tolerant investors. Compromise alternative: Equity income funds -- generally the least risky funds investing primarily in stocks." (Bob Christensen, manager, SteinRoe Total Return Fund)

LOOKING AHEAD: Now that income taxes are out of the way, consider tax-free money funds, tax-free bond funds and tax-free individual bonds. They might work out better for you, after taxes, than taxable investments. Your broker can help with your individual arithmetic.

BALTIMORE BEAT: The locally managed Greenspring Fund is listed in Lipper Analytical Service's recent "Top 15 Performing Mutual Funds" in the growth stock category. For fund details, phone Mike Godack at 823-5353. And fund president Chip Carlson appears on CNBC's "Your Portfolio" tonight at 7 p.m. . . . USF&G, Provident Bank, Martin Marietta and BG&E stocks touched 12-month highs last week. . . . Investment Counselors of Maryland says, "For stock investors to become truly comfortable, many political uncertainties must be resolved. There is no compelling reason for stocks to rise from these generally above-average valuation ratios." . . . McCormick & Co. is listed under "Stocks We Like That Are Off 15 Percent From Year-end Prices" in S&P Outlook.

MONEY-SAVERS: "Attention, Grandparents: Most airlines that offer senior-citizen discounts allow the senior to bring a companion of any age at the same low fare. So grandparents can travel with grandchildren at bargain prices." (Dollar Stretcher) . . . A local car salesman told me, "People should buy their cars at the end of the month. We're judged according to our monthly results and if things have been especially slow, we'll be anxious to make sales in the last week of the month." . . . "Moving yourself can save three-quarters of the move's expense. A typical household move by moving van (between 100 and 200 miles) costs an average $1,332. With a rental truck the same move costs $349, a 74 percent saving." (Money for Life) . . . "Personal 800 numbers can be more economical than using a credit card to call home, especially true for parents who want a more affordable way for their college kids to call home." ("Secrets of Installing a Telephone System" by Neil Sachinoff, $28.45)

APRIL SHOWERS: Fidelity Magellan Fund's top holdings as of mid-April were Chrysler, Motorola, Unocal, Weyerhaeuser and Citicorp. Fund manager Jeff Vinik says, "Drug stocks are still off-limits; we are only at the beginning of their disappointments, not the end." . . . "Fewer than 40 percent of employers now reimburse employees for business use of their cars at a rate as high as the standard mileage rate allowed by the IRS -- 28 cents per mile." (Tax Hotline) . . . "Commemorative coins are rip-offs when bought for investment purposes. Right now, Clinton inauguration commemoratives are being aggressively promoted for two to 10 times their bullion value. Virtually all inaugural coins from Johnson to Bush now cost close to their bullion value." (Silver & Gold Report)

WALL ST. WATCH: (A bit more cheerful than last week's gloomy sampling): "In spite of general stock overvaluation, market bias remains upward." (Market Strategies, Martin Sosnoff) . . . "The current rally in financial stocks has reached truly stunning proportions [and] almost everything will follow along sooner or later." (Deemer Technical Research) . . . "Investors should remain positive toward stocks." (Dow Theory Forecasts) . . . "Dividend yields are the third lowest in history and project poor long-run stock returns." (Zweig Forecast) . . . "There is no real room for any big rise over recent highs." (P.Q. Wall Forecast) . . . "Stocks and bonds are in a high-risk zone. The flow of money into mutual funds is proceeding at a record pace, but in the past this has been a contrary indicator. The big money flows usually occur at market peaks." (Klein-Wolman Letter) . . . "Long-term bonds are too risky because inflation is not going to stay low." (Ben Weberman, Forbes, April 26)

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