Stocks will rise, unless they fall, and all experts can't be wrong

The Ticker

September 10, 1997|By Julius Westheimer

After watching stocks gyrate wildly, many are wondering if they should jump into the market now, whether it's too late, and how their money should be invested.

"Stocks will grind higher. Lower long-term interest rates and huge capital inflows will support the market through 1997." (Louis Crandall, economist.)

"Although U.S. markets were extremely volatile, that 'Up and Down Dow' will now show greater stability." (London Financial Times.)

"Look how impressively stocks acted long-term. There's no reason to feel that trend will change." (401K Dimensions Newsletter.)

"Market is oversold; expect near-term bounce that could prove very significant." (Wheat First Butcher Singer.)

"Based on previous patterns, worst of the fall decline may have already occurred." (Ned Davis Strategy.)

There are, of course, who see the other side:

"I see a 400-800 point correction this fall." (Elizabeth Mackay, chief strategist, Bear Stearns.)

"If big-cap stocks are hit by earnings setbacks, today's high prices could be judged too rich and stocks vulnerable to selling wave." (Abby Joseph Cohen, chief strategist, Goldman Sachs.)

"Don't buy small-cap stocks now. When the Fed eases interest rates is when to start nibbling." (Richard Bernstein, analysis chief, Merrill Lynch.)

"I'm bearish. Easy part of stock environment is passing. Upcoming strong economy risks wage inflation and higher interest rates." (Jason Benderly, economist.)

I see it this way: Many blue-chip stocks are overpriced. It may take a year or so before earnings catch up. But don't delay buying. The time to invest money is when you have it. Waiting could prove very expensive.

QUICKIES: As of last weekend, only about 50 percent of the forecasts I read were cheerful, short-term. Most were optimistic for the long pull.

"Send me a one-armed economist. I don't want a lot of, 'On the one hand this, on the other hand that.' " (President Truman.)

"Risk-taking is a necessary condition for creation of wealth." (Fed chief Alan Greenspan last week.)

How high is up? Cost of a Big Board seat in 1976 was $40,000. In 1986, $455,000. Last year, $1,285,000.

Pub Date: 9/10/97

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