Interest rates fall again, pushing Dow up 9 points

The Ticker

August 17, 1993|By Julius Westheimer

The Dow Jones industrial average spent most of yesterday in record territory but backed off near the close. But as interest rates declined again -- long government bond yields fell to 6.3 percent -- the Dow indicator managed a 9 1/2 -point gain to finish at 3,579.15, four points below its peak.

MONEY MAXIMS: "Money buys everything except love, personality, freedom, immortality, silence and peace." (Carl Sandburg, 1952) . . . "I don't like money actually, but it quiets my nerves." (Joe Louis, 1948). . . "My boy, always try to rub up against money, for if you rub up against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you." (Damon Runyon, 1939)

BALTIMORE BEAT: McCormick & Co. is listed under "Rapid Growth Stocks We Like" in S&P Outlook, Aug. 11. The stock, which sold as high as 30 in the past 12 months, closed last week at 21 1/4 , yields 2.1 percent (not much less than a short-term CD) and sells at 18 times earnings . . . David Clogg, Chapin Davis (435-3200), will mail his firm's Buy Recommendation on CRSS Inc., a large design and engineering firm, along with a rundown on "Previous Recommendations: The Disciplined Contrarian," some showing outstanding gains . . . Rex Rehfeld, Gruntal & Co. (727-0522) will mail his latest newsletter, "Alternatives?", covering bonds, mortgage-backed obligations, preferred stocks, common stocks, convertibles, etc. . . . Local stocks that hit 12-month highs last week included T. Rowe Price, Alex. Brown, Provident Bank, Signet Bank and Martin Marietta.

WHAT'S NEW? According to the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., you may now buy shares of BG&E stock directly from the company under the following liberalized requirements: You must either purchase at least one share of BG&E stock from a stock broker or have at least one share transferred into your name to become an owner of record. At that point, when you belong to the firm's Stock Option Plan, you can make optional cash payments for stock, commission-free, of not less than $10 at any one time nor more than $100,000 annually. Call BG&E for details.

MIDSUMMER MEMOS: The impressive stock market rally of the 1980s and early '90s began 11 years ago this month at about Dow Jones 800 . . . "Your best investment today is to pay off existing lines of credit and/or to prepay a loan. If you pay down an 18 percent credit-card debt, that's like earning 18 percent on your money." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine) . . . Following up on many requests for book titles that I mentioned last week on WBAL Radio's "Lunch with Allan Prell," here are books that might save you money on auto purchases. The first two books give the dealer's cost: "Auto Intelligence New Car Decision-Maker," Vols. 1 and 2, by Paul Katzka, Random House, $12 each; and "Auto Price Almanac, 1993," Pace Publications, $5.95. (Authorities suggest you allow the dealer about a 5 percent to 7 percent profit.) Other good reference materials are "AAA Car Buyer's Guide" and "How to Buy a Car," a $26.95 video from FP Video, Indianapolis, Ind. Phone: 800-422-0064.

NOTES & QUOTES: Dividend increases rebounded in July after slipping in June . . . If you want to buy some stocks without paying a broker's commission, contact the National Association of Investors Corp. at 313-543-0612. You pay $32 a year and then can buy an initial share in any of 100 companies for a fee of $5 each. "If television encouraged us to work as much as it encourages us to do everything else, we could better afford to buy more of everything it advertises." (Cullen Hightower in Forbes, Aug. 16.) . . . Coyne & McLean, (825-8300) will mail "Proposed Tax Bill: What It means To You." ("Top individual rate rises, there will be a capital gains break, estate taxes rise, deductible individual retirement contributions will increase, moving expenses and club dues are out, etc.")

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