Deadline is nearing to enter 1998's pick-the-Dow contest

The Ticker

January 23, 1998|By Julius Westheimer

HOW WILL the stock market end 1998? If you think you know, enter our Dow Jones forecasting contest.

Postcards -- letters will not be accepted -- must be postmarked by midnight Feb. 1.

The closest crystal ball gazer for the final Dow Jones industrial average, on Dec. 31, wins dinner for two at his or her favorite area restaurant as guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ticker. Second-closest wins lunch for two.

The 10 next-closest will receive hardback books about money and investments, value about $25.

Print your Dec. 31, 1998, Dow Jones forecast (no decimals) with your name, address and home phone number. Only one card per person. Give reasons if you wish -- some may be printed -- but you are not required to. Ties will be decided by the flip of a coin.

Mail your card to Julius Westheimer, Ticker Contest, c/o Business News, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

Here are some opinions you may find useful:

"Business costs will rise and pricing flexibility reduced. Earnings disappointments will produce a Dow Jones year-end close of 7,972." (Robert Stovall, investment adviser.)

"Because we must be 'in' stocks, to share in this year's gains, I don't want my mutual fund managers' cash levels creeping up." (Robert Freedman, chief investment officer, John Hancock Funds.)

"Recession likelihood is rising and will surprise everybody on the downside. Slowdown will hurt profits and the market. We could drop to Dow 6,000." (Felix Zulauf, president, Zulauf Management, Zug, Switzerland.)

"The 'big money' has been made. Popular averages virtually doubled in the last three years. Stocks could now move sideways while earnings catch up. I think the Dow average will close at 8,345." (Mr. Ticker.)

"We have a 40 percent chance of recession in the year 2000. That could be severe, dragging the Dow down by as much as 35 percent." (Edward Yardeni, economist, Money magazine, February.)

OOPS! Because his postcard was stuck to another card, Gary Quill's name was inadvertently omitted from our list of 1997 contest runners-up. (Ticker, Jan. 7.) Quill predicted Dow Jones 7,917, only nine points from the actual close. We sent Mr. Quill an investment book.

Pub Date: 1/23/98

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