Health care stocks may be the right prescription

The Ticker


"IF YOU'RE LOOKING for excellent investment results in this year's volatile stock market, a mix of solid health care companies might just be what the doctor ordered," says Black Enterprise magazine.

It suggests these stocks: Pfizer Inc., Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., American Home Products Corp., Merck and Co. Inc., ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp.

"Time to rethink Japan," says James Clunie, head of global equities, Aberdeen Capital Management Co. "The market hit a 16-year low in March, but a projected cut in short-term rates - effectively to zero - should stop deflation and spur growth.

"Put about 20 percent of your foreign stock portfolio in Japan. Attractive blue chips: Canon Inc., Nippon Telephone & Telegraph Co. and Sumitomo Bank Ltd."

WHAT HAPPENED TO: Day traders? ... "One-decision" growth stocks? ... Dot-coms? ... Stock splits? ... Hi-tech stocks selling at 140 times earnings? ... Sales of the book "Dow Jones 40,000"? ... Margin customers? ... Venture capital funds?

WALL STREET WATCH: "We're still a long way from realistic high-tech values. A lot of them have further to tumble." (David Dreman, author, "Contrarian Investment Strategies," in Forbes)

"The 17-year bull market is set to end and ignite a huge Treasury bond rally. Buy 30-year Treasuries. In hard times they race ahead. No other bond can touch them." (A. Gary Shilling, investment adviser)

"Don't sell into weakness. The bear's grip will loosen unexpectedly." (S&P Outlook)

"There may still be more upside in junk (high-income, low-quality) bonds. As long as Fed easing prevents a harsh recession, junk bonds should rise in value, perhaps returning 35 percent." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine)

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