Despite late bond rally, market finishes down

The Ticker

March 29, 1994|By Julius Westheimer

Saved by a late bond rally, stocks narrowed their losses toward the close yesterday but finished in the minus column nevertheless. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 12.38 points, closing at 3,762.35. The Dow now stands 216 points, or 5.4 percent, below its all-time high (3,978.36) and only eight points above its Jan. 1, 1994, level (3,754.09).

AND NOW WHERE? "This is the time to buy good stocks that are being taken down by the whole market slide. It's not the end of the world; after all, we're not even down 5 percent from the high. This decline will be temporary." (Laszlo Birinyi, technician) . . . "Stocks could dip more, maybe another 8 to 10 percent. One stock I like here is Central Newspapers." (Frank Cappiello) . . . "This market will rebound, but not next week because we'll now see end-of-quarter 'window dressing,' whereby many institutions will dump stocks that are doing badly. That makes their March 31 lists look better. I would now buy the electrical equipment and energy stocks, and avoid consumer and drug issues." (Above three quotes from Friday's "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser.")

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Since daylight-saving time returns Sunday, and some train and plane schedules change, be sure to get new Amtrak timetables from Penn Station and fresh flight schedules from BWI Airport. If you travel a lot, tuck the booklets in your briefcase. BWI will be happy to place you on a freebie mailing list for its periodic "Flight Guide" if you write Maryland Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 8766, BWI Airport, Md. 21240-0766, or phone (410) 859-7034. The "Flight Guide" is also jampacked with data about airport parking, rail connections, etc. . . . This Friday, stock and bond markets will close for Good Friday observance . . . One more reminder: April 15, income tax day, is now just over two weeks away. See your tax person promptly.

STILL TIME: Speaking of taxes, a local brokerage firm mailer cheerfully reminds us, "It may not be too late for a 1993 deduction," adding, "If you are a wage-earner, you may qualify for up to a $2,000 deduction. The deadline for 1993 contributions is April 15. For details, see your broker."

NOTES & QUOTES: "The Fed would have been better off sitting on its hands. The economy and the American people deserve a break." (U.S. News & World Report in an editorial, "Greenspan Goofs Again.") . . . "Buy when the Dow Jones industrial average is down 10 percent from the same date a year ago and sell when it's up 30 percent over the prior year." (Eugene Brody, Oppenheimer & Co.) . . . "Sell stocks after the dividend yield on the S&P composite index has dipped below 3 percent and buy after the yield rises above 3.5 percent." (Edward Renshaw) Ticker Note: That yield now stands at about 2.8 percent . . . A worthwhile free book, "Investment Swindles: How They Work and How to Avoid Them," is yours if you send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, Colo. 81009. Ask for Item 576Y.

GOOD FORECAST: "Homeowners who have ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) of about 7 percent or more -- and who plan to live in their home for four or more years -- should refinance and lock in the current 6.75 percent fixed rate. The Federal Reserve's move to raise short-term rates pushed up many of the indexes used to set ARM rates. If the economy improves and the Fed raises interest rates again, it could boost rates even further on ARMs that come up for adjustment, making the locked-in payments of fixed-rate mortgages more attractive." (Robert Heady, publisher, Bank Rate Monitor, issue of March 15.)

WANT MORE INCOME? Looking for more income and possible price gains? The April edition of Money magazine makes these stock suggestions: Bankers Trust (4.3 percent yield), Dun & Bradstreet (4 percent), Quaker Oats (3.4 percent) and Alltel Corp. (3.3 percent). The article says, "Here are four New York Stock Exchange issues that pay 3.3 percent or more and have hiked their payouts at least 112 percent over the past decade, compared with an average 80 percent increase for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. 'The four are likely to return more than the overall market over the next 12 months,' says Arnold Kaufman, editor of S&P's weekly newsletter, The Outlook."

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