Weak dollar, dumping pull Dow index down 2

The Ticker

June 30, 1994|By Julius Westheimer

Reversing direction from a lunchtime 30-point gain, the Dow Jones industrial average sagged in afternoon trading yesterday and closed with a loss of 2.59 points, at 3,667.05.

Brokers blamed a weak dollar, the possibility of higher interest rates and mutual fund "undressing," a midyear bear market procedure whereby portfolio managers dump battered stocks to make June 30 shareholder reports look more appetizing.

LOOKING AHEAD: July has historically been a strong Wall Street month, rising on average 1.2 percent over the last 43 years. Only December, November and January, in that order, have been stronger . . . Speaking of July, Yale Hirsch, publisher of the Stock Trader's Almanac, says, "The summer rally, which is supposed to be hot stuff, is nothing to get too excited about. He points out that other seasonal rallies have been greater, with these percentage gains: autumn 9.9, spring 10, winter 13.5 and summer only 9.3 percent. So, why does summer have the reputation as a bullish time? USA Today says, "It began before the turn of the century, when the USA was an agrarian society and many people bought stocks in anticipation of good crop harvests."

BALTIMORE BEAT: For the fifth consecutive year, McCormick & Co. has received the "Select Supplier" status from the Campbell Soup Co., awarded for firms which "consistently provide high quality, deliver on time and offer fair cost and value at the same time." . . . Ferris, Baker Watts' Michael Dougherty will send his 20-page "How to Use Your Stockbroker" if you phone him at 659-4677 . . . The T. Rowe Price New Asia Fund is recommended by nine newsletters followed by the Hulbert Financial Digest . . . Griffith Consumers and Loyola Capital stocks reached 12-month highs in early-week trading. Black & Decker, Duty Free International and GEICO slipped to yearly lows . . . Tomorrow night, Owings Mills-based "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser" features Douglas Johnson, portfolio manager, SAFECO Equity, with panelists Elizabeth Dater, John Dessauer and Louis Holland.

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Waiting until a week before closing to lock in a mortgage rate can be a mistake. Problem: You run the risk of having to lock in at a higher rate. This is an especially dangerous strategy if you can barely afford the home you are buying. By locking in a higher rate, you will have to make higher monthly payments and drastically cut back on other expenses. It's better to lock in as soon as possible." (Robert Van Order, chief economist, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.)

BEST JOBS: "Hottest Careers for Women," from Working Woman, July, provides a worthwhile list, under various categories, for the top current job opportunities: Information Technology: On-line services marketer, software programmer, systems analyst. Health Care: Advanced-practice nurse, physical therapist, geriatric/care manager. Human Services: Human resources manager, planned giving officer, special education teacher. Financial Services: Bank services marketer, independent financial planner. Travel and Tourism: Hotel general manager. Law: Law firm marketer, paralegal, labor and employment lawyer, intellectual property lawyer, environmental attorney.

SCRAPING THE BOTTOM: At the bottom of the barrel, "The Five Worst Careers for Women," are Child Care and Elder Care ("Work satisfaction often undercut by low pay."); Telemarketing Sales ("Entry-level job pays less than $18,000 and in the worst operations, punishing quotas make for sweatshops."); Word processing ("It's less a viable job, declining by 16 percent over the next decade."); Bank teller ("This job will shrink 4 percent by 2005.")

NOTES & QUOTES: "From error to error, we learn." (Sigmund Freud) . . . Baltimore Bancorp is listed under "The Merger Fund's Top Holdings" in Business Week, July 4. ("Morningstar, which tracks and rates mutual funds, figures the Merger Fund has the )) third-lowest risk rating of 1,970 funds.") . . . Thinking of moving? The Kiplinger Washington Letter says that the "hottest" areas for jobs are Western mountain states and Southeastern states, namely Utah, Nevada, Mississippi, North Carolina and Georgia . . . "Many utility stocks are no longer the low-risk producers they once were, because of increased competition and higher interest rates." (Roger Conrad, editor, Utility Forecaster) . . . Washington (D.C.) Real Estate Trust (REIT) is listed under "Tip-Top Trusts" in Personal Finance newsletter.

MARKET WATCH: "Although we expect the Dow to trade in the 3,600-4,000 range in the next few months, we believe investors can outperform the market by buying health-care, drug and hospital management companies." (Elaine Garzarelli) . . . "Hold onto your hat, fasten your seat belts; the roller-coaster Dow is ready to plunge." (Investment Quality Trends, Geraldine Weiss) . . . "The market should really rise from here, so I'm looking for a top right after July 4. Why? Because the famous 'Summer Rally' is really a bulge in stock prices the last few days in June and the first few days right after July 4." (Principles of The Stock Market) . . . "I'm trying to buy companies for which there are no inflated expectations, including Baltimore-based PHH Corp." (Nick Whitridge, manager of Babson Value Fund, in Barron's, June 27.)

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