Investment Figures Of The Week

COMMENTARY

A strong week for both the U.S. stock market and the dollar. The Dow Jones

industrial average climbed four days straight, closing at a record 8775.4 on

Mar. 18. Brokerage stocks led the gain, spurred by speculation that Merrill

Lynch & Co. may be acquired by Chase Manhattan Corp. Oil company shares were

propelled by rising crude prices. Meanwhile, the dollar rose to a two-month

high against the yen. U.S. bond prices fell on Mar. 18, out of concern that the

economy has shown no signs of slowing down.

Investment Figures of the Week
Investment Figures of the Week
      
                                                  % change
      U.S. MARKETS                    Latest     Week   Year
      
      Dow Jones Industrials           8775.4     1.1    27.6
      NASDAQ Combined Composite       1788.3     1.8    43.1
      S&P MidCap 400                   365.0     1.3    41.0
      S&P SmallCap 600                 197.2     0.8    39.8
      S&P SuperComposite 1500          232.8     1.5    38.5
      
                                                 % change
      SECTORS                      Latest      Week      Year
      
      Bloomberg Information Age     326.4       2.1       42.0
      S&P Financials                134.1       3.5       47.7
      S&P Utilities                 242.2       2.0       25.6
      PSE Technology                339.4       2.3       40.7
      
                                               % change
      FOREIGN MARKETS           Latest     Week       Year
      
      London (FT-SE 100)        5903.6      1.3       36.3
      Frankfurt (DAX)           4919.7      1.8       48.4
      Tokyo (NIKKEI 225)      16,619.7     -0.8      -10.1
      Hong Kong (Hang Seng)   11,121.7      0.0      -12.1
      Toronto (TSE 300)         7426.8      1.1       22.0
      Mexico City (IPC)         4844.4      2.2       25.3
      
                                                         Week     Year
      FUNDAMENTALS                          Latest       ago       ago
      
      S&P 500 Dividend Yield                 1.43 %      1.44 %    1.86 %
      S&P 500 P/E Ratio (Last 12 mos.)       27.1        26.5      20.8
      S&P 500 P/E Ratio (Next 12 mos.)*      21.3        20.9      16.6
      First Call Earnings Revision*         -3.51 %     -3.88 %   -1.08 %
      
                                                         Week
      TECHNICAL INDICATORS                  Latest       ago        Reading
      
      S&P 500 200-day average                951.2       945.6      Positive
      Stocks above 200-day average            66.0 %      67.0 %    Neutral
      Options: Put/call ratio                 0.54        0.57      Negative
      Insiders: Vickers Sell/buy ratio        2.01        1.69      Neutral
      
      BEST-PERFORMING           Last                                Last 12
      GROUPS                    month%                              months%
      
      Pollution Control          22.0     Homebuilding                93.6
      Invest. Banking/Brkrge.    18.6     Broadcasting                83.5
      Homebuilding               17.1     Specialty Appar. Retailers  82.0
      Engineering & Constr.      16.8     Invest. Banking/Brkrge.     81.5
      Steel                      14.9     Communications Equip.       74.6
      
      WORST-PERFORMING          Last                                Last 12
      GROUPS                    month%                              months%
      
      Semiconductors             -9.9     Metals                     -36.7
      Computer Systems           -4.5     Gold Mining                -34.3
      Photography/Imaging        -4.5     Shoes                      -30.3
      Manufactured Housing       -3.9     Photography/Imaging        -24.0
      Oil-Well Equip. & Svcs.    -1.3     Hospital Management        -14.0
      
      BLOOMBERG MONEY FLOW ANALYSIS
      Rebound ahead?  Stocks with most                      1-month
      significant buying on price weakness  Price           change
      
      IBM                                  100 7/8          -1 7/8
      Exxon                                 62 15/16        -7/8
      Micron Technology                     32              -3
      Texas Instruments                     55 3/8          -1 1/8
      Ascend Communications                 33 1/32         -1 1/32
      Sun Microsystems                      43 29/32        -1 15/32
      
      Decline ahead?  Stocks with most                       1-month
      significant selling on price strength Price            change
      
      Microsoft                             80 3/8           3 1/16
      Dell Computer                         62 5/16          5 23/32
      WorldCom                              42 59/64         4 35/64
      Pfizer                                89 3/8           3
      PeopleSoft                            49 1/2           8 1/16
      Qwest Communications Intl.            39 5/8           5 3/16
      
      Data: Bloomberg Financial Markets; *First Call Corp.
      
                                 Latest       Week        Year
      KEY RATES                   week%       ago%        ago%
      
      MONEY MARKET FUNDS          5.12        5.13        4.96
      90-DAY TREASURY BILLS       5.14        5.09        5.29
      6-MONTH BANK CDS            5.07        5.08        5.04
      1-YEAR TREASURY BILLS       5.33        5.37        5.79
      10-YEAR TREASURY NOTES      5.57        5.63        6.74
      30-YEAR TREASURY BONDS      5.91        5.93        6.99
      LONG-TERM AA INDUSTRIALS    6.48        6.51        7.47
      LONG-TERM BBB INDUSTRIALS   6.95        6.98        7.81
      LONG-TERM AA TELEPHONES     6.78        6.82        7.67
      
      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       4.42%   4.44%      5.02%    5.04%
      PERCENT OF TREASURIES    79.36   78.86      85.02    84.89
      TAXABLE EQUIVALENT        6.41    6.43       7.28     7.30
      INSURED REVENUE BONDS     4.54    4.58       5.18     5.24
      PERCENT OF TREASURIES    81.51   81.35      87.73    88.26
      TAXABLE EQUIVALENT        6.58    6.64       7.51     7.59
      
      EQUITY FUNDS
      Leaders                                Laggards
      Four-week total return            %    Four-week total return        %
      
      Matthews Korea I                 29.0  Lexington Strategic Silver -10.3
      Weitz Hickory                    14.2  Frontier Equity             -9.3
      Pioneer Europe A                 13.6  Lexington Strat. Invmnts.   -8.9
      Nicholas-Apple. Intl. S.C. Inst. 13.2  Oppenheimer Real Asset C    -8.4
      Principal Spec. Intl. Mkts. S.C. 13.1  American Heritage           -7.4
      
      Leaders                                Laggards
      52-week total return              %    52-week total return          %
      
      Delaware Aggressive Gr. A        85.1  Midas                      -61.5
      Munder Micro-Cap Eqty. Y         77.5  U.S. Global Investors Gold -59.8
      FMI Focus                        75.7  Invesco Strategic Gold     -57.7
      Brazos/JMIC Small Cap Gr.        68.7  Bull & Bear Gold Investors -57.6
      Fidelity Sel. Brokerage          68.2  Gabelli Gold               -52.0
      
      EQUITY FUND CATEGORIES
      Leaders                                Laggards
      Four-week total return             %   Four-week total return       %
      
      Communications                    9.4  Japan                       -2.4
      Europe                            9.2  Precious Metals             -1.9
      Financial                         7.1  Real Estate                 -1.5
      Foreign                           7.0  Natural Resources            0.5
      Latin America                     6.9  Diversified Pacific/Asia     1.9
      
      Leaders                                Laggards
      52-week total return               %   52-week total return          %
      
      Communications                   49.7  Precious Metals            -42.9
      Financial                        46.5  Pacific/Asia ex-Japan      -33.4
      Unaligned                        37.4  Diversified Pacific/Asia   -23.2
      Large-cap Growth                 37.2  Diversified Emerging Mkts. -10.3
      Small-cap Blend                  34.9  Japan                       -6.7
      
      All data are as of market close Wednesday, Mar. 18, 1998, 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 Mar. 17. 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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