Stocks decline slightly in profit-taking


September 01, 1994|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

Snapping a three-day, 87-point winning streak, the Dow Jones industrial average eased 3.88 points yesterday and closed at 3,913.42. Many brokers blamed profit-taking for the mild decline, following the recent sharp run-up in Wall Street.

MARYLAND MEMOS: The Calvert Group, Bethesda (800-368-2748) is described in Business Week, Sept. 5, under the title, "CDs That Try a Little Harder." The article says, in part, "The Calvert account is cobbled together from three separate banks, so you can be insured for up to $300,000. Tied to 90-day Treasuries, the interest rate, currently at 4.34 percent, is adjusted weekly, so you get a fairly quick benefit from any rate hikes" . . . Procter & Gamble, with two installations in this area, appears under "Retirement Portfolio: Planning For a Secure Future" in a U.S. Trust Co. recommended list . . . "I feel that the Dow Jones average will hit 4,100, if not this year, then certainly next." (Frank Cappiello, Baltimore-based mutual fund manager.)

BALTIMORE BEAT: T. Rowe Price International Stock Fund is listed under "The Honor Roll" in Forbes' "Mutual Fund Best Buys" cover story, Aug. 29. The listing is sub-headed, "Short bursts of glory won't get a fund on the Forbes Honor Roll, but consistency of performance, and toughness in tough times, will" . . . "To generate consistent high performance, investors must seek systematic market inefficiencies or structure portfolios with unfamiliar correlations between industry sectors, equity classes, etc. That's why more investors are turning to mutual funds and professional managers." (Rex Rehfeld, vice president, Baltimore branch, Gruntal & Co.)

STARTING EARLY: "Dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs) are attractive for youngsters, with two important benefits. First, the learning process improves if children buy stocks they relate to, and second, children can contribute with small amounts of money. With the minimum optional cash payment being $10 to $25 for most DRIPS, even children with small piggy banks can participate in their own investment programs. Examples: Blockbuster, Harley-Davidson, Mattel, McDonald's, Pepsico and Wrigley." (DRIP Investor, 7412 Calumet Ave., Hammond, Ind. 46324. 12 issues, $79.)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Don't ever fall into the trap of excusing your broker for making any unauthorized trade, even one that was profitable." (From "Keep Your Broker Honest" in Fortune's 1994 Investor's Guide) . . . "Don't make out a tax-payment check to the 'IRS.' Reason: If the check falls into the wrong hands, 'IRS' can be changed to 'MRS.' followed by a name. Better: Make the check out to 'Internal Revenue Service.'" (Julian Block, author, "Year-Round Tax Strategies," $16.95.) . . . "If all you're interested in achieving are short-term goals, a bonus plan might help you reach them. But that same plan can undercut every long-term goal you have." ("Incentive Pay Isn't Good for Your Company" in Inc, Sept.)

BEFORE PITCHING IT: Money magazine, September, runs a helpful article, "Make a Quick Grand or Two by Selling Stuff You Want to Toss." Highlights: "Don't call the junkyard yet! You wouldn't believe what some people will pay for used, everyday items you may be tempted to throw away . . . If you've recently traded up to a better computer, TV, stereo, dining room table, etc., you could earn $300 to $3,000 or more in a day or two by selling the items. With the 1994 garage-sale season in full swing, it's a perfect time to reduce the clutter in your home by letting your neighbors buy your stuff . . . To set realistic prices, leaf through 'The Price Guide to Flea Market Treasures' by Harry Rinker Jr., $16.95 . . . If someone appears interested but doesn't reach for his/her wallet, say, 'Make me an offer.' "

SEPTEMBER SONGS: Stocks recommended by nine recent newsletters followed by Hulbert Financial Digest are American Barrick, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck and Placer Dome. And by seven newsletters: GTE Corp., Microsoft and Tellabs . . . "Sun Stocks" reaching 12-month highs recently include Citicorp and Griffith Consumers. GEICO and Town & Country slipped to yearly lows . . . The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter feels that recent Federal Reserve interest rate hikes will not lead to a 1995 recession. The letter further predicts that although the rate of economic growth will slow next year, housing, auto and retail sales will still do well despite higher interest rates.

LAST LINES: "I think 4,200 is fair value for the Dow Jones industrial average." (Gail Dudack, technician, on "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser.") Speaking of WSW, tomorrow night's program is titled "Quantitative Analysis," namely, mathematical interpretation of stocks and market trends, with guest Michelle Clayman, CEO of New Amsterdam Partners, and panelists John Dessauer, Michael Holland and Carter Randall . . . "If you daydream about inheriting millions, you're not alone. Baby Boomers stand to inherit $10.4 trillion, the biggest windfall in U.S. history. But a recent poll shows that the bucks won't necessarily come easily: 62 percent expect an inheritance, 60 percent say they deserve one and 21 percent expect to fight over it with relatives." (First Interstate Bank Trust newsletter) . . . "Following every mid-term election since 1914, the stock market has gained at least 15 percent by the end of the next year." (Yale Hirsch, editor, "Smart Money.")

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