Kodak drives down Dow industrials

The Ticker

December 16, 1993|By Julius Westheimer

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.71 points yesterday in heavy trading, closing at 3,716.92. Eastman Kodak, a Dow stock, plunged $7.25 to $55.50 after the firm's CEO predicted lower-than-expected earnings. The Kodak drop accounted for 14 points of the Dow's decline.

MONEY MATTERS: "If a man runs after money, he's money-mad; if he keeps it, he's a capitalist; if he spends it, he's a playboy; if he doesn't get it, he's a ne'er-do-well; if he doesn't try to get it, he's lazy. If he gets it without working for it, he's a parasite; and if he accumulates it after a lifetime of work, people call him a fool who never got anything out of life." (Vic Oliver.)

MID-MONTH QUIZ: Did you know that although the Dow Jones industrial average is up 11.5 percent this year to date, the S&P 500-stock index is ahead only 6 percent? (Submitted by Michael Meredith, Merrill Lynch) . . . Were you aware that good looks generally pay off on the job? New studies show that very attractive men and women earn about 5 percent more than their average-looking counterparts . . . Did you realize that a married couple may give $20,000 to as many people as desired without paying a gift tax? The IRS says that when a spouse joins in the gift by signing the return -- even if all the money comes from one person -- the $20,000 gift is completely free of taxes . . . Did you know that the 28 percent tax on profits from the sale of long-term assets has not been reduced? Business Week, Dec. 13, explains, "It just seems that way because rates on other income have risen."

MARYLAND MEMOS: The Morningstar rating service has awarded its top five-star rating to the locally operated Greenspring Fund, and also lists Greenspring among the top funds in its lower-risk category. Call Fred Forsyth (823-5353) for details . . . Medimmune Inc., a Gaithersburg biotechnology company, is written up in a full-page story in Business Week, Dec. 20, on newsstands this week. ("It's back to Square One on a key drug -- and back to reality for investors.") . . . T. Rowe Price New Asia Fund is listed under "Top-Performing Stock Mutual Funds: International and Global" in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, January issue, and the firm's International Stock Fund appears under "Recommended Mutual Funds" in S&P Outlook's Annual 1994 Forecast . . . EA Engineering stock reached a 12-month high in early-week trading.

TAX TIPS: "How to Shrink Next Year's Gift To Uncle Sam" in Business Week, Dec. 20, is worth reading. Excerpts: "To avoid a more inclusive marriage penalty, wait until January to wed, but get divorced now . . . Accelerate earned income to avoid the Medicare-tax hike, if it doesn't bump you into a higher bracket . . . Moving for work? Fewer of those costs will be deductible, but those that remain will come off the top . . . This is the last year you can deduct business-related club costs, so pay next year's dues now . . . Give appreciated stocks or property to charity; it won't trigger the alternative-minimum tax."

DECEMBER DIARY: "Don't hate your enemies; it affects your judgment." (Overheard somewhere) . . . "To get in on growth in Asia, try U.S. companies already there," says Fortune, Dec. 27, listing A.T.& T., Avon, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Colgate, General Electric, Motorola, Westinghouse and several others . . . The Kiplinger Washington Letter (Dec. 10) says that college graduates will have more job opportunities next year, with good demand for chemical and electrical engineers, physical and occupational therapists, anesthetists and industrial hygienists. The letter adds that MBAs with specialties will have the edge . . . "Utility mutual funds are an area that appears attractive to those looking for higher yields. Diversification spreads your risk, and many of these funds now provide yields in the 6 percent range." (Moneypaper, December)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: What percentage of your holdings should be in stocks? Fortune, Dec. 27, says, "A good benchmark is to take the number 100, subtract your age, and the remainder is the percentage of financial assets you should commit to equities. Age 25? Keep 75 percent in stocks. If you're 75, only 25 percent in equities." The same article advises, "Tally what's coming up in the next five years. Keep that money in cash, a money market fund or a short-term bond fund -- not in stocks. The market is simply too volatile over short time spans." . . . Business Week, Dec. 20, says, "Laid-off workers can buck the odds and snag good jobs by constantly upgrading their skills, developing a broad and expanding range of contacts, targeting high-growth industries or small businesses and pricing their skills according to what the market will bear instead of prior salary."

MARKET WATCH: "The bull market appears to have launched a new rally phase. Given this, the sell-off in the traditional laggard energy sector is positive for the overall market -- and should prove an important buying opportunity for energy stocks themselves." (Walter Deemer's Market Strategies and Insights) . . . "The clear probability is a crash below 3,000 by February." (P. Q. Wall Forecast) . . . "The Dow has made new record highs, but a few weeks ago there were 432 Big Board stocks within a point or less of their 52-week lows! This number has been getting bigger all year and it now predicts a market disaster within two to four weeks, or less." (The Granville Report) . . . "Our upside target for the Dow in 1994 is 3,900." (Weekly Market Strategy) . . . Baron Rothschild's success formula: "I never buy at the bottom and I always sell too soon."

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