Some drug and medical service stocks to consider

The Ticker

May 25, 2001|By JULIUS WESTHEIMER

WHAT STOCKS DO we buy in this up-and-down market?

"Despite the danger of Washington meddling in drug pricing, pharmaceuticals and medical service stocks will be good places to be in the next several years," says equity strategist James Moltz.

"Favorable factors: an aging population and exciting biotech advances that could result in mergers between biotech companies.

"My picks: Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co. Inc. and Pfizer Inc. among traditional drug stocks. Amgen Inc. in the biotech area and Medtronic Inc. in medical devices."

PARKING LOT: "The best place to park cash depends on your time horizon.

"Best place if you can tie up funds for at least six months: certificates of deposit. Highest rates usually come from out-of-town and Internet banks." (Roger Klein, pres., Interest Rate Futures Research Corp.)

HOME SWEET HOME: "Set up a home-equity line of credit before retiring or leaving a job in search of a new one.

"You may never need the money, but it's good to have the credit line available in an emergency. You may not be able to negotiate a credit line on the same terms when you are not working." (Terry Savage, author, "The Savage Truth on Money")

FED FILE: "The Fed has done a good job of balancing the economy, getting rid of stock market exuberance and keeping us out of recession.

"For my older clients, however, I recommend no more than 65 percent in stocks and the rest in bonds and cash." (Lewis J. Altfest, financial planner)

"Let's not kid ourselves. The economy isn't out of the woods yet. The Fed is still struggling to get it right."(U.S. Investment Report)

IT'S YOUR MONEY: "Upside momentum still appears very strong but is belied by a rally already long in the tooth and one that is probably very close to being played out." (Alan Newman's Crosscurrents)

"There's a clamor to get back in tech stocks when only two months ago we hated them." (Michael Farr, money manager)

"In this kind of market, the way to make money is to follow the economy's leading indicators and companies that move with them. Commodities top the list - nickel, oil, gas, beryllium, platinum, etc." (Personal Finance)

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