Some pros give their stock picks for '96

The Ticker

February 07, 1996|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

WITH THE Dow Jones industrial average standing this morning at a record 5,459.61 -- up 1,522 points, or 38 percent, in one year -- what stocks do professionals favor for 1996?

GAIL'S PICKS: Gail Dudack, whose 1995 stock picks on "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" placed her in the panelists' "Top 4" Honor Roll with a 51 percent advance, selects for 1996:

American Electric Power, AT&T, Authentic Fitness, Bally Entertainment, Bankers Trust, Entergy, KLA Instruments, J. P. Morgan, Noble Affiliates, Texas Utilities, Wal-Mart.

BABSON'S PICKS: Babson Investment Report, with a strong record, selects American Water Works, Bell Atlantic, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Central & South West, Exxon, J. P. Morgan, Southern Co., Weingarten Realty.

TICKER QUERY: Regarding the above, why do we always see dozens of brokerage firm and experts' "buy" recommendations, but never "sell" suggestions? Write me your answer.

NOTES & QUOTES: Friday, "Wall Street Week" features Steven Jobs, former Apple Computer chief and now CEO of Pixar. Panelists are Harvey Eisen, Mary Farrell, William Waters.

"In Baltimore, average 15-year fixed mortgage rate recently was 6.44 percent, 1-year ARM 5.25 percent." (Bank Rate Monitor, Feb. 5)

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." (Henry Ford)

STITCH IN TIME: "You must check your insurance when banks merge. With accounts at merged banks, you could have over $100,000 in the combined bank and after a six-month transition period, amount over $100,000 won't be insured." (Edward Mrkvicka, banking consultant)

CAREER CORNER (1): "After job loss, manage money extra carefully. Apply for unemployment benefits quickly. Look for part-time work when not job-hunting. Work out reduced payments with creditors; most are reasonable. Sell unneeded things, like a boat or second car." (Michael Farr, author, "America's 50 Fastest Growing Jobs")

CAREER CORNER (2): "To get a job, you must find a need and fill it. To do that, research the company's revenues, profits, products and recent major news stories. If you don't know all about the firm, its hiring people won't take you seriously." (Kennedy's Career Strategist)

"LIGHTER" SIDE: "Fat men command more money and respect than thin ones. Surveys show 'heavies' earned more than 'skinnies' because bulk conveys power, strength and capability, which win respect and money." (American Journal of Public Health)

AND I'M 5-7: "Tall men and women have a business edge over short people because height suggests more credibility, landing six-footers in most visible, important positions." (The Height of Your Life, Little, Brown & Co.)

FRIGID FACTS: A returning traveler told me that the best of Moscow's hundreds of restaurants is Pizza Hut.

"Very few people are as tough and objective about their financial affairs as an experienced professional can be." (USAir In-Flight magazine, February)

Today the Treasury issues 10-year notes; tomorrow, 30-year bonds. Call your broker or the Federal Reserve (410) 576-3553 for details.

WHAT YOU PICKED: Barbara Frankovic, who won our 1995 Dow Jones contest, picks 5,849 for year-end. At her Prime Rib "Winner's Dinner," she reminded us she courageously predicted 4,948 last year when the Dow was around 3,850. Actual close: 5,117.22.

"I say 4,653. Reason: Higher-than-expected inflation. Raw material and energy costs will drive up prices, weighing heavily on stocks." (Timothy Preston)

"I averaged the top 5 forecasters for last year and added 300 points because I'm more optimistic than the average. So I say 5,611." (Gary Bennett)

"We lunched once, now let's dine. 5,148." (Anne Velevis)

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