(FOOL GLOBAL WIRE -- Wednesday, January 7, 1998)
by Jeff Fischer (

ALEXANDRIA, VA (Jan. 7, 1998) -- Destined to be one of the most frequently used words in the financial world this year: Asia.

That continent's currencies and markets slid again yesterday, and the reverberations were felt in U.S. markets today. We're beginning to see some spillage elsewhere, too. Yesterday General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced that it was delaying a new plant opening in Thailand for perhaps six months, and today the Big Three automakers warned about the implications of the weakening Yen. (Automakers are having a harder time selling overseas.) So what caused all of this slop in Asia?

In large part, bad loans. Banks overseas floated too many questionable loans to risky creditors, many of them backed by grossly overvalued property. That led to decreased confidence in the currencies, which began to plummet, taking the markets with them. That's the simplified version. For Fools, it's enough to know that we're going to see the repercussions of the Asian turmoil continuously this year, and that our stock market is trading under a shadow of concern that is cast over the most populated part of the world.

The Fool Port lost 0.66% today, landing between the S&P and Nasdaq, which lost 0.27% and 1.17% respectively. Oddly, while the S&P was down, the S&P Depositary Receipts (AMEX: SPY) gained $1/4. We didn't buy our shares yet, which means that we'll buy them tomorrow. The shares are down slightly since our buy announcement last week. We also have not yet purchased 3Dfx Interactive (Nasdaq: TDFX). We have three more days. So...

...Please stop buying 3Dfx for a few days, whomever is out there buying it. The stock is already $4 higher than it was when we released our buy report, up a whopping 20%. This hurts the Fool Port (though that's part of being Foolish and we wouldn't do it any other way, of course). Actually, the lowest the stock has traded since Monday is $23 1/8, so we're all paying up for the stock due to -- well, due to all of us.

Many Fools have been posting their thoughts regarding 3Dfx on our message boards, and many of those thoughts are coming from Fools inside the industry who possess detailed knowledge. If you're interested, read the posts from last night (1/6/98) on our website, especially one by an engineer in the gaming industry who goes by the name of Slutz (hey, I'm sure that name means something good), and a great post about the company and industry by a Fool named Rahvin.

The message board conversations on the company are just getting started, but they already possess months worth of knowledge -- were you to try to learn it all on your own time from gathering your own materials.

Tonight David and Tom are in Philadelphia signing books, and tomorrow (Thursday) at 12:30 in the afternoon they'll be in midtown Manhattan, at the Barnes & Noble in the Citicorp building at 160 E., 54th Street. So if you're in New York City, swing on by and say hello! Get your book signed, and rub Tom's head for good luck in the stock market.

Thanks to Fools like you (perhaps), the new book, You Have More Than You Think, and the new Motley Fool Investment Workbook are among the top-three bestselling business books on The other top-three bestseller: The Motley Fool Investment Guide. So we thank you for the support and for the interest in the Fool books, and for making these three Fool books the top three on the Amazon business bestseller list. I don't think that we could have accomplished such a feat on our own, although every Fool employee is required to purchase eight copies of each book. (It's an employee policy. We don't question it.)

You Have More Than You Think is for sale at Amazon for only fifteen bucks. The Motley Fool Investment Workbook is about $9. (Please read the descriptions of the books before you buy.) While Tom and David make their way around the country on their book tour, you may want to pick up a copy of a Fool book now if you plan to see them later during their tour -- for a signing. David has promised to write up to 500 words inside any book cover if you ask him. (I made that up. That's impossible.)

A final promotion for the winsome Gardner brothers: Tom and David will be on MSNBC tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. ET, and on CNBC tomorrow night on "Taking Stock," which airs from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to see them. If they don't make you laugh at least once (or at least teach you something), you know where to email them.

(Amazing how all of that promotion was slipped into the middle of the column, isn't it?)

Losers for the Fool Port today were KLA-Tencor, Innovex, and Lucent, all down about 5%, but none on any news. Moving to big news in the other real-money portfolios that we offer at the Fool, tonight the Drip Portfolio is considering over 20 leading food companies for possible inclusion in the Drip portfolio. Randy Befumo has created an excellent spreadsheet showing key numbers on all of these companies, from Kellogg, to Campbell Soup, to Coca-Cola. The spreadsheet is available for free on our website, and the link to it is in the Drip column tonight, which is linked above.

Randy also asked Drip readers to post which food stocks they favor most on our Drip Message boards. I believe that I was the first poster on both the AOL board and the Web board. Please share your thoughts if you own a food stock or would like to. Food has provided -- predictably -- very consistent returns to shareholders over the years.

Finally, Tom's new Cash-King portfolio information is now live on both of the Fool's sites. As soon as Tom gets back from his gallivanting around the country, he and his Foolish cohorts will announce the twelve Cash-King buys -- one by one -- and officially launch the puppy.

Fool on!

--Jeff Fischer

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Today's FoolWatch: all the latest in Fooldom.


Stock Change Bid ---------------- AMZN - 11/16 57.25 AOL - 1/8 89.88 T --- 60.00 CHV + 11/16 74.44 DJT - 1/8 7.00 GM - 1/16 59.31 INVX -1 22.25 IOM - 1/8 12.88 KLAC -2 37.00 LU -5 5/8 78.00 MMM + 11/16 84.31 RTN.A -1 9/16 47.31 COMS - 1/4 33.63
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.66% -1.22% -1.22% 231.49% S&P: -0.27% -0.66% -0.66% 110.30% NASDAQ: -1.17% -0.55% -0.55% 116.85% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 89.88 1135.76% 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 1.28 12.88 905.54% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 78.00 63.81% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 60.00 51.60% 9/9/97 290 38.22 57.25 49.78% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 74.44 48.03% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 84.31 28.38% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 7.00 17.34% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 59.31 14.12% 12/19/97 17 Raytheon 53.21 47.31 -11.08% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 37.00 -17.25% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 22.25 -19.70% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 33.63 -28.25% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 31905.63 $29323.76 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 2509.60 25235.00 $22725.40 9/9/97 290 11084.24 16602.50 $5518.26 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 9304.69 $3019.08 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 7800.00 $2654.89 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 16607.50 $2055.01 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9274.38 $2049.94 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -8190.00 $1718.50 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3276.00 $1276.12 12/19/97 17 Raytheon 904.57 804.31 -$100.26 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 4810.00 -$1002.49 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 7231.25 -$1774.37 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11715.99 8406.25 -$3309.74 CASH $32678.33 TOTAL $165745.83