COMMENTARY

Strong earnings reports and falling bond yields sent the Dow Jones industrial

average rocketing 173 points, or 2.6%, on Apr. 22. That was the index's biggest

one-day gain since 1991. Rumors that a budget deal had been reached in

Washington sent the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond from 7.09% to 7.04%. The

White House denied the rumors. The NASDAQ Composite Index sat out the rally,

rising just 0.73% that day. On Apr. 23, interest rate jitters offset a rally in

computer stocks, and the major indexes edged down.

                                                        % change
      U.S. MARKETS                        Latest      Week     Year
      Dow Jones Industrials               6812.7       2.0     21.9
      NASDAQ Combined Composite           1227.1       1.4      5.2
      S&P MidCap 400                       251.2      -0.1      7.2
      S&P SmallCap 600                     136.6      -0.5      2.9
      S&P SuperComposite 1500              165.2       1.1     16.8
      
                                                         % change
      SECTORS                              Latest      Week    Year
      Bloomberg Information Age            232.8       2.5     12.3
      S&P Financials                        85.4       0.3     30.4
      S&P Utilities                        183.0      -0.6     -4.7
      PSE Technology                       241.6       0.8     11.6
      
                                                         % change
      FOREIGN MARKETS                     Latest       Week    Year
      London (FT-SE 100)                  4387.7       2.2     14.5
      Frankfurt (DAX)                     3396.0       1.3     33.2
      Tokyo (NIKKEI 225)                18,735.5       3.9    -15.3
      Hong Kong (Hang Seng)             12,707.0       1.0     16.7
      Toronto (TSE 300)                   5874.1       1.3     14.8
      Mexico City (IPC)                   3827.0      -0.2     18.9
      
                                                      Week     Year
      FUNDAMENTALS                         Latest     ago      ago
      S&P 500 Dividend Yield                1.90%     1.95%    2.17%
      S&P 500 P/E Ratio (Last 12 mos.)      19.9      19.6     19.1
      S&P 500 P/E Ratio (Next 12 mos.)*     16.2      15.7       NA
      First Call Earnings Surprise*         3.64%     3.28%      NA
      
                                                      Week
      TECHNICAL INDICATORS                 Latest     ago      Reading
      S&P 500 200-day average              726.8     724.4     Positive
      Stocks above 200-day average          54.0%     51.0%    Neutral
      Options: Put/call ratio               0.69      0.72     Neutral
      Insiders: Vickers Sell/buy ratio      1.96      1.91     Positive
      
                                           Latest     Week    Year
      KEY RATES                             week%     ago%     ago%
      MONEY MARKET FUNDS                    5.06      5.04     4.84
      90-DAY TREASURY BILLS                 5.33      5.29     5.10
      6-MONTH BANK CDS                      5.22      5.18     4.86
      1-YEAR TREASURY BILLS                 5.95      5.99     5.48
      10-YEAR TREASURY NOTES                6.87      6.90     6.52
      30-YEAR TREASURY BONDS                7.08      7.11     6.78
      LONG-TERM AA INDUSTRIALS              7.61      7.59     7.34
      LONG-TERM BBB INDUSTRIALS             7.94      7.96     7.78
      LONG-TERM AA TELEPHONES               7.84      7.82     7.61
      
      BEST-PERFORMING        Last                             Last 12
      GROUPS                month%                            months%
      Airlines               13.2     Semiconductors           57.8
      Trucking               10.1     Savings & Loans          47.5
      Computer Software       9.3     Household Products       45.8
      Tobacco                 8.6     Computer Software        40.7
      Semiconductors          7.9     Invest. Banking/Brkrge.  40.7
      
      WORST-PERFORMING       Last                            Last 12
      GROUPS                 month%                           months%
      Shoes                 -17.5     Gold Mining             -33.3
      Gold Mining           -14.3     Machine Tools           -27.1
      Personal Loans        -13.3     Broadcasting            -24.5
      Broadcasting          -12.7     Engineering & Constr.   -16.8
      Defense Electronics   -11.2     Defense Electronics     -15.3
      
      BLOOMBERG MONEY FLOW ANALYSIS
      Rebound ahead?  Stocks with most                      1-month
      significant buying on price weakness     Price          change
      U.S. Bancorp                              54 3/8     -3 1/2
      Texaco                                   105 5/8     -  1/4
      BankAmerica                              108 5/8     -5
      Micron Technology                         35         -4 1/2
      3M                                        87 1/2     -1 1/8
      Citicorp                                 105 1/2    -11 1/8
      
      Decline ahead?  Stocks with most                     1-month
      significant selling on price strength     Price      change
      Intel                                    140 7/8     10 1/4
      Cisco Systems                             47 1/2        3/8
      Microsoft                                110 5/8     20 1/2
      Philip Morris                             42 1/8      3  35/64
      Johnson & Johnson                         59          1  1/8
      Pfizer                                    91 3/4      1  1/8
      
      BLOOMBERG MUNI YIELD EQUIVALENTS
      Taxable equivalent yields on AAA-rated, tax-exempt municipal bonds,
      assuming a 31% federal tax rate.
                                     10-yr. bond     30-yr. bond
                                     Latest  Last    Latest  Last
                                     week    week    week    week
      GENERAL OBLIGATIONS            5.07%   5.09%   5.63%   5.65%
      PERCENT OF TREASURIES         73.77   73.99   79.42   79.60
      TAXABLE EQUIVALENT             7.35    7.38    8.16    8.19
      INSURED REVENUE BONDS          5.26    5.27    5.88    5.92
      PERCENT OF TREASURIES         76.58   76.61   83.01   83.40
      TAXABLE EQUIVALENT             7.62    7.64    8.52    8.58
      
      EQUITY FUNDS
      Leaders                               Laggards
      Four-week total return            %   Four-week total return%
      Matthews Korea                  8.8   Amerindo Technology D      -26.3
      GAM Japan Capital A             4.7   Midas                      -17.1
      Fidelity Select Transport       3.8   Van Wagoner Post-Venture   -16.9
      United Svcs. China Reg. Op.     3.7   Bull & Bear Gold Investors -16.4
      GT Global Japan Growth A        3.7   IDS Precious Metals B      -16.3
      
      Leaders                               Laggards
      52-week total return              %   52-week total return            %
      Morgan Stan. Inst. Lat. Am. A  45.9   DFA Japanese Small Co.      -43.7
      Vontobel Eastern Europ. Eq.    45.5   Steadman Technology Grth.   -42.9
      Morgan Stanley Latin Amer. A   44.7   United Svcs. Gold Shares    -42.5
      Delaware Pooled Real Estate    40.7   Fidelity Japan Small Co.    -38.8
      CGM Realty                     39.1   Matthews Korea              -37.0
      
      EQUITY FUND CATEGORIES
      Leaders                             Laggards
      Four-week total return         %    Four-week total return       %
      Japan                        1.7    Precious Metals          -10.1
      Foreign                      0.1    Real Estate               -5.9
      Europe                      -0.1    Small-cap Growth          -5.7
      Latin America               -0.1    Mid-cap Growth            -5.3
      Diversified Pacific/Asia    -0.4    Health                    -4.8
      
      Leaders                             Laggards
      52-week total return           %    52-week total return         %
      Real Estate                 29.1    Precious Metals          -23.5
      Financial                   27.9    Japan                    -20.5
      Latin America               27.9    Small-cap Growth         -11.3
      Large-cap Blend             16.9    Diversified Pacific/Asia  -6.8
      Europe                      16.3    Communications            -4.2
      
      All data are as of market close Wednesday, Apr. 23, 1997, unless otherwise 
      indicated. Industry groups include S&P 500 companies only.  Fundamentals, 
      technical indicators, Bloomberg money flow analysis, and mutual fund returns 
      are as of Apr. 22. For a more detailed explanation, write to us or E-mail 
      figures@businessweek.com.  NA=Not available  **Vanguard Index 500 Fund
      
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