Stocks may take a short vacation in September

The Ticker

August 30, 2000|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

Be careful: Over the past 49 years, September has been the only "down" month of the year, according to the 2000 Stock Trader's Almanac. The yearbook says stocks were off an average of 0.2 percent, as measured by the S&P 500 stock index.

PROM QUEENS: These stocks are included under "Most Popular Stocks," among all newsletters followed by Hulbert Financial Digest: AT&T Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., General Electric Co., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Yahoo! Inc.

WALL FLOWERS: These issues appear under "Least Popular Stocks": Amgen Inc., EMC Corp., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Oracle Corp., Verizon Communications and Broadcom Corp.

GOOD NEWS: "This year 14 percent of retirement plans such as 401(k)s offer a self-directed brokerage option, up from 8 percent in 1999. This allows you to buy individual stocks or funds not on the 'menu' of 401(k) selections. Reason: Employers fear liability for not offering the self-directed option, especially if employees miss opportunities to make money in individual stocks." (Moneypaper)

TAKE YOUR CHOICE: "Prospects for some Internet firms look dim. More than 23 dot-coms fell off the Nasdaq in the first six months of this year because of bankruptcy or dissolution of operations." (Black Enterprise)

"Chances of a meaningful rally will increase dramatically if the market moves far above recent psychological resistance levels. Any rise in pessimism will act as an additional catalyst." (Schaeffer's Investment Research)

"We are currently in the best advance of the year, and our research suggests that it should continue well into next year." (The Granville Market Letter)

"Even though a 'soft landing' appears probable, the stock market won't celebrate until earnings concerns ease." (BMO Nesbitt Burns)

"Although August and September are usually difficult months for the market, we expect stock prices to inch higher in the year's final quarter." (Gerald Perritt's Mutual Fund Letter.)

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