Du Pont, IBM and Merck pull Dow down 12 points

THE TICKER

July 29, 1993|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

Backing further away from its peak set on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 12.01 points yesterday and closed at 3,553.45. Three Dow stocks -- Du Pont, IBM and Merck -- all suffered point-plus losses, accounting for most of the Dow decline.

MONEY TALK: "To die rich is to have lived in vain." (Jiddu Krishnamurti) . . . "Most of the rich people I've known have been fairly miserable." (Agatha Christie) . . . "I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, honey, rich is better." (Sophie Tucker.)

BE CAREFUL: Money magazine, August, runs an enticing cover story which blares, "16 Choices That Can Earn You Twice As Much on Your Savings." Ticker Warning: Some of these choices appear fairly risky, such as investments in the section on "Junk Bond Funds." As we have warned before, investigate before you invest. Although CD interest rates are low, we suggest you lower your expectations. In a CD you are guaranteed to get your money back, but in a junk bond fund there is no such guarantee . . . Thinking of suing your stock broker? A free pamphlet, "Legal Representation in Securities," in yours free if you call the New York City Bar Association at (212) 382-6695 . . . August, on the

horizon, has historically been a slightly "up" Wall Street month, edging ahead an average 0.3 percent over 41 years.

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Common Mistakes That Plague Job Hunters," in National Business Employment Weekly, July 23-29, on newsstands this week, includes: Not calling on friends and family who can point you in the right direction; giving poor interviews; giving up too soon; relying solely on help-wanted ads; not following up on resumes. The article lists many more mistakes and also gives solutions . . . "Five Tips for Staying Ahead in Your Career," in a recent issue of Fortune, suggests, "Think of your career broadly -- skills are much more transferable than you suspect; get to know the many new firms that place interim managers; be prepared for telecommuting, work harder than ever at keeping up with colleagues, friends, neighbors, customers, suppliers; never stop upgrading your skills."

NOTES & QUOTES: "Over the next few years we expect smaller stocks to outperform blue chips, so look for market weakness that brings down prices of smaller stocks to be a buying opportunity in such issues. T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, Rushmore and Vanguard are among those that offer small-growth funds specializing in smaller, faster-growing companies." (Moneypaper, July) . . . "Your boss can peruse your E-mail, tap your telephone, film you in the restroom and fire you for reading this [in most states], but he can't peek into your health records." (From "What Your Boss Knows About You" in Fortune, Aug. 9.)

BALTIMORE BEAT: Legg Mason's Fred Yoder will give a seminar, "Retirement Investing and Estate Planning" on Saturday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. till noon. Call Mr. Yoder (771-3455) for details, reservations, etc. . . . U.S. Surgical stock, widely-held in this area, is the subject of a Business Week (Aug. 2) article, "Short-Sellers Still Love U.S. Surgical." The story opens, "U.S. Surgical stock, down to 25 from 105 last July, has produced a bonanza for short-sellers this year, but have the shorts cashed in on their chips? Not a chance. They maintain the stock is still way overvalued." . . . Duty-Free International, a stock also popular here, is listed under "The 100 Fastest-Growing Companies" in Fortune, Aug., 9. The firm, which operates duty-free stores at North American borders and international airports, ranks No. 62 in the U.S.

LOOKING AHEAD: "The choices now are: (1) Try to pick stocks whose earnings momentum may continue despite a slowing economy; (2) Bottom-fish among groups like drugs, that have been mauled; (3) Choose to miss what may be the last gasp of this bull market and be very comfortable with 7 to 9 percent returns in the fixed-income market." (Rex Rehfeld, Gruntal & Co.'s Baltimore office) . . . "To learn what Wall Street and investors have learned about bull markets and bear markets since the last bear market, read on." The above comment by financial writer Raymond DeVoe, in Barron's, dated July 26, is followed by a long blank space with this explanation, "This space intentionally left blank." . . . "We're not saying the ballgame is over -- only that it's now become a 'high-stake' match and we aren't crazy about the odds. As the Kenny Rogers tune went, 'Even a gambler needs to know when to walk away.' We're warming up our jogging shoes." (Investech) . . . "If this year continues as it has -- sideways -- it may even beat 1992 in its lack of volatility and direction, despite the record bull market advance in the bond market. 'First up, then down' is what appears to be in store for the rest of 1993." (Global Market Strategist.)

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