The Week in Review -- October 29, 1999

The Markets

  10/22 Close 10/29 Close Change %Change
DJIA 10,470.25 10,729.86 +259.61 +2.48
S&P 500 1,300.96 1,362.93 +61.97 +4.76
Nasdaq 2,816.50 2,966.43 +149.93 +5.32

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The Nitty Gritty, Part 2
by Jerry Thomas (TMF Cheeze)

Greetings, Fools.

Halloween is this weekend, but I won't make much of it, because I live in Los Angeles. Halloween is not really a holiday here, because in L.A. a Halloween costume is pretty much indistinguishable from regular clothing. In this town, if the guy standing next to you at the newsstand has bolts in his neck, he isn't necessarily pretending to be Frankenstein's monster. In fact, he might even be on his way to a job interview.

Besides, you can get all the Halloween you want in the Fool's Halloween 1999 Special. Here we've rounded up some treats (stocks worth checking out), tricks (stocks to avoid), and scary stories (spine tingling excitement!) to lend a bit of Folly to your fright night.

I did consider making a gesture in the spirit of the holiday, attempting to spook the market by sneaking up behind it and yelling, "Alan Greenspan!" But I was already too bummed out after watching the dreaded New York Yankees sweep the Atlanta Braves in four straight games to win the World Series. (My prospects for a happy ending there were pretty slim, considering I had been predicting that the Florida Marlins would take it all in Game Six. I really gotta stop reading those tip sheets.)

Consider my chagrin as I watched Barbara Eisner Bayer (TMFVenus) celebrating the Yankee victory in Thursday's Rule Breaker report. (You'd think she'd be busy somewhere planning a ticker-tape parade or something, but noooo...) Barbara does, however, redeem herself with a special feature, Investing for Couples, which appeared Monday. If you've ever wished you had a guide for investing with your spouse, without risking a visit to Divorce Court, shazam! Your dream has come true.

In last week's Notes I promised I'd continue citing features we have on our site for those looking for solid stock research -- in other words, the nitty gritty. I mentioned our series of portfolios, each which has its own distinct personality and its own investment objectives. One of the portfolios I didn't mention then is the Drip Portfolio, which aims to turn an initial investment of $500, and an additional $100 per month, into $150,000 over the course of twenty years. This is a very practical method for people who are just beginning their investment careers and don't have a lot to start out with. It's also a great way to get to know some solid companies: Tuesday's Drip Report by Jeff Fischer (TMFJeff), for example, offers some fresh commentary on the changes in the thirty stocks of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as Intel Corp (Nasdaq: INTC), among others, is added to the list.

By the way, if you're really interested in the various ramifications of the changes announced this week in the make-up of the Dow Average, check out the Foolish Four Portfolio, which spent much of this week digesting the significance of the changes.

There are a couple of other places I like to turn to for consistently solid examination of companies. One is our Dueling Fools feature, which each week pits two Fools with opposing viewpoints on a particularly company or related investment question. This week, for example, we are witness to The Chocolate War, as Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMFEdible) and Paul Larson (TMFParlay) lock antlers over two well-known candy companies: Tootsie Roll (NYSE: TR) and Hershey (NYSE: HSY). The neat-o thing about this format is that in examining the points of disagreement between the contending Fools, clarity emerges, and you, the reader, can make your own decisions about what is and isn't important to your own investing needs. Or, put another way: You have a chance to learn. Cool, hey?

The other feature I like to keep an eye on is the Daily Double, which appears twice a week, and focuses on stocks that have at least doubled over the course of the previous twelve months. If you like a success story -- and, more importantly, if you'd like to explore the key factors which have converged to make each of these companies a success -- then this is clearly a page you want to spend a lot of time with. You might want to start with Thursday's Double on Tribune Co. (NYSE: TRB), again by Rick Munarriz.

Of course, all the suggestions I make can never be as good as the clicking habits you develop on your own. The best favor you can do for yourself as a Foolish investor is to set aside an hour or two exploring Fooldom on your own. After all, you're the one who knows your own needs and interests better than anyone else. There's nothing more Foolish than good, old-fashioned self-reliance. A great place to start your journey is with the Fool Tour, which will take you on a comprehensive exploration of our website.

That's all for now. The next couple of weeks, I'll be outta here. In my place you'll find Rick Munarriz, who is already overworked as it is. So everybody be nice to Rick, because he's doing me a favor, okay?

Until next time,
Fool on!

Cheeze

 




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