Dow Jones 5.5% below 12-month high

The Ticker

May 31, 1994|By Julius Westheimer

Edging up 3.68 points Friday in quiet pre-holiday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 3,757.14, now 5.5 percent below its 12-month high (3,978.36). By contrast, the Dow Jones utility index closed at 186.73, or 27 percent beneath its 365-day high (256.46.)

WALL ST. WISDOM: "Investments aren't safe if they don't earn more than inflation. There are two types of risks -- short-term risk of loss of value and the long-term risk that an investment won't provide for your future needs. Fearful investors often focus only on the first risk and invest too conservatively. Best strategy: Place money you will need in safe, no-loss investments. Place longer-term funds in stocks for greater gains, realizing that stocks' short-term volatility shouldn't concern you when investing for the long term." ("Wealth: How to Get It and Keep It" by Herb Vest, $24.95.)

NOTES & QUOTES: "The average U.S. corporate CEO earns 149 times the pay of the average factory worker." (U.S. News & World Report, May 30) . . . Here are average New York prices for certain products and (in parentheses) Tokyo prices: Bottle of 100 aspirin tablets 99 cents ($6.53), movie $7.50 ($17.20), cup of coffee $1.25 ($2.90), mid-range Sony Walkman $60 ($211) and Gucci men's loafers $275 ($605.) Data from a Fortune magazine survey . . . "The two most recognizable logos in the world are those of Coca-Cola and Blue Cross, in that order." ("60 Minutes," CBS) . . . June in Wall Street has historically been a slightly "up" month, edging ahead an average 0.1 percent over 44 years. But cheer up: July has proved to be the year's fourth best month, rising 1.2 percent over the same time span.

MONEY SAVERS (1): "Best way to avoid huge charges for a phone call from a public phone is to pay with cash. You pay much higher charges with your credit card." (Dollar Stretching Ideas) . . . "Take this offer from G.M.: A single $18,635 check gets you a 1995 Cadillac Deville for three years, $1,390 less than you'd pay on a standard lease for $556 a month and no money down." (Smart Money) . . . "Don't invest everything in your company's stock. Doing that could make you overly dependent on your employer's fortunes. If your firm does poorly, you could lose the money you've invested as well as your job." (Ted Benna, benefits consultant.)

MONEY SAVERS (2): "Fight bank fees by shopping around. Banks are now charging higher fees for services such as changing coins to bills, ATM use, processing overdrafts and even accepting deposits. Find the lowest fees by shopping around, making a list of banking conditions that matter to you, such as interest rates, fees, checking charges, minimum balances and so on. Then call several banks in your neighborhood to find the figures for each. Write them down and compare them." (Joseph Harrington, Moebs Services) . . . "A stock that drops suddenly because of unexpected bad news may seem like a bargain -- but don't rush out to buy. Our study of 2,000 companies that had single-day drops of 10 percent or more found that their prices continued to fall after the initial drop." (David Dreman, Dreman Value Management.)

BALTIMORE BEAT: "We have become more cautious toward the stock market. Although stocks may bounce from oversold conditions, the prospect of rising interest rates and a slowing economy are not developments that sit well with investors." (First National Bank of Maryland). . . Baltimore-based Youth Services International and its CEO, James Hindman, are written up favorably in Forbes, June 6. ("While many government programs to straighten out teen-age criminals fail miserably, Jim Hindman's YSI may make a big difference.") Ticker Note: The firm went public in February at $10 a share, and is now trading around $7). . . Black & Decker is listed under "Companies With Large Foreign Sales" in S.& P. Outlook, May 25 ...In a Barron's, May 30, "Research Reports" column, Alex. Brown recommends purchase of Capital Re.

MONTH-END MEMOS: "When flying, carry all your luggage whenever possible. You can save a lot of time if you don't have to wait for it in baggage claim." (Success, June). Ticker Note: Despite all the world's technological advances in the last 40 years, baggage claim is still handled in the same archaic way as in the the mid-1950s . . . "Seven out of 10 MBAs won't work in certain industries because of ethical or political concerns. For

example, 82 percent won't work for tobacco companies, 36 percent shun firms with environmental problems." (Duke University survey) . . . "A dedicated coupon clipper can save more than $1,000 a year on supermarket purchases. Hint: The more coupons you can gather, the more of a product you can get at a good price. Don't worry about strange looks from your family when you come home with 20 bottles of cooking oil or bars of soap." (Dollar Stretching Ideas.)

WALL ST. WATCH: "Ever so slowly, market fundamentals are improving." (Trade Guide Indicator) . . . "I see a coming stock market crash which will take the Dow all the way down to 2,000 by the first quarter of 1995." (Joseph Granville) . . ."The last two bear markets (1987 and 1990) were mercifully short in duration. So short that many investors acquired the notion that markets always snap back quickly. Investors who suffered through the long bear market of 1973-74 know differently. Don't be suckered into this rally." (Cabot Market Letter) . . . "Unfortunately, buying on dips this time around will probably cause more harm than good." (Wall Street Bargains)

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