"A major correction for stocks seems unlikely because earnings remain strong and too many investors are already sitting on the sidelines awaiting a sell-off," says Fidelity Monitor (P.O. Box 1294, Rocklin, CA 95677). "Inflation also appears well-controlled, individuals and companies are still shunning debt and government borrowing should continue to decline as the effects of the 1993 tax package are felt."
- Warburg Pincus International Equity Fund's 15.4 percent average annual return over the past three years is almost double the average foreign fund's performance. W.P. has achieved these numbers by sniffing out emerging social and economic trends abroad and by applying strict value criteria to overseas stock-picking. Fund manager Richard King tries to buy companies priced 40 percent below their private market value. Recent favorites: Canon, Telecom de Argentina, Astra, Fletcher Challenge, Banco Santander, Woodside Petroleum, SCOR.- "Many solid oil-company stocks have fallen too much in the recent industry downdraft," reports Insiders Chronicle (3265 Meridian Parkway, Suite 130, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331). "By concentrating on those oil stocks whose corporate insiders are buying at these cheap prices, you guard against bad news lurking in the closet and put yourself in position to benefit from a rebound." Recent insider favorites: Exxon, Getty, Mesa, Mobil, Pennzoil, Santa Fe Energy, Triton.
- Disappointing short-term earnings have also created bargains among the retail stocks, suggests Dow Theory Forecasts (7412 Calumet Ave., Hammond, IN 46324). "Pent-up consumer demand and modest income growth are fueling increased sales of big-ticket items domestically. At the same time, rising living standards are creating new opportunities abroad. The end of the Cold War has opened the formerly communist world to Western marketers and the North American Free Trade Agreement has done the same for 80 million Mexican consumers." DTF's favorite undervalued retail stocks: Disney, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Russell, TJX Cos.
- Barrons' Randall Forsyth recently searched the Lipper data base for bond funds that not only did well during the recently departed bull market but also outperformed during the two most recent bear markets. Among taxable funds, the clear winner was Strong Income Fund. Among tax-free funds most likely to thrive in any market, the honors were split among Fidelity Aggressive Tax-Free, Rochester Fund Municipals and UST Master Tax-Exempt Long-Term.
- Many metals analysts believe we're just at the beginning of a long-term bull market for gold. But which gold stock funds do the experts favor most? According to Hulbert Financial Digest (316 Commerce St., Alexandria, VA 22314), nine investment newsletters it monitors recommend Invesco Strategic Gold Fund, while eight suggest Fidelity Select American Gold and Vanguard Specialized Gold & Precious Metals. The Invesco and Vanguard funds are no-load; Fidelity's has a 3 percent load.
- Freebie of the Week: Here's a real rarity - two ways the Federal government can actually save you money. First, by allowing you to buy government bonds direct, thus bypassing brokerage commissions. And second, by telling you all about it in a free booklet entitled, "Information About Marketable Treasury Securities." For your copy, request Publication PDP 009 from the Bureau of the Public Debt, 1300 C St. S.W., Washington, DC 20239.