The 54 Wall Street forecasters recently surveyed by Business Week think 2002 will be a good year for stocks — but not a great year. They are, on average, predicting rises of 13 percent for the Dow, 15 percent for the S&P 500 and 14.5 percent for the Nasdaq. Rod Smyth of First Union Securities sums up the cautious optimism: "Although 2002 will be a recovery year, it won't be a strong recovery year."

Dreyfus Mid-Cap Value Fund likes inexpensive stocks that it figures will get more expensive in six to 12 months. To find them, it concentrates on absolute valuations compared to trading history and looks for catalysts that could trigger revenue acceleration and margin expansion. It's worked this formula well enough over the past three years to rack up impressive 24 percent average annual gains. Recent favorites: ICN Pharmaceuticals, Radio Shack, Scientific-Atlanta, Stilwell Financial, Sunoco, Bausch & Lomb, Mirant.

Seth Glickenhaus, the 87-year-old founder of money manager Glickenhaus & Co., has been around long enough to know which temporarily distressed stocks are poised for a comeback. One sector he views particularly favorably now is natural gas. He notes the fuel's limited supply and believes its shares have fallen because of softening oil prices and the weak economy. Two favorites: Anadarko and Devon Energy.

Large market capitalizations and high dividends can be two powerful brakes to a falling stock price. Here, according to Thomson Financial/First Call, are the 10 companies with market caps of at least $5 billion (excluding utilities and REITs) with the highest recent yields: RJ Reynolds Tobacco (6.1 percent), Eastman Kodak (6.0 percent), Keycorp (5.2 percent), UST (5.1 percent), Philip Morris (4.9 percent), AmSouth Bancorp (4.8 percent), Union Planters (4.6 percent), HJ Heinz (4.3 percent), National City (4.2 percent), Conagra (4.1 percent).

To find international stock funds that are employing tactical opportunities to differentiate themselves from U.S. funds, Fortune magazine recently searched for international funds that have made money in the past 12 months, beat the S&P 500 over the past three years, are open to new investors and require minimums of $10,000 or less. Only 14 of 1,889 international funds met the criteria. Fortune's favorites: Longleaf Partners International, American Funds Cap Income, First Eagle Sogen Global, Van Kampen Global.

Among the 24 major online brokers recently surveyed by Money magazine, Merrill Lynch Direct ( www.mldirect.com) proved the easiest to use. Merrill also finished second in Money's overall ratings of online brokers, based on four other measures: products and tools (where it also placed first); customer service; system responsiveness; and cost (where, not surprisingly, it finished tied for last place with Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Accutrade and Morgan Stanley Online).

Site of the Week: The Web site; www.worldlyinvestor.com, has a free international news portal. Check out its insightful weekly column on emerging-market opportunities and free weekly e-mail newsletter on emerging stocks. You can also look up articles by region. A useful ADR screener allows you to scan by country and/or sector and check performances over a variety of time periods.


Investor's Notebook is a digest of investment opinion from the world's leading financial advisers. It does not recommend any specific investments, and no endorsement is implied or should be inferred. For more information, contact the individual firms cited.