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How YOU Doin?

By Dian Vujovich

I loved how Joey Tribbiani’s character in the Friends sitcom used to ask, “How you doin?” He did it with such a sexy lilt in his voice and a raised hey-you kind of eyebrow that you knew he had an interest.

In that same spirit of interest, how you doin with your equity holdings?

In my March 4th blog titled “Got 20 Bucks?”, I showed how 20 bucks could buy you one share of five stocks that at that time were selling for under $10 a share (not including commissions). Two months later, as of Friday, May 1st, it would have cost you more.

Now it would take $23.17 and only four—not five—companies would be included. They are in alphabetical order: Alcoa at $9.69 on Friday’s close ($6.11 on March 4); Bank of America, $8.70 ($3.57); Citigroup, $2.97 ($1.17); and General Motors, 1.81. ($2.13).

General Electric had moved to $12.69 a share and hence was off that cheapo list.

Also, the number of DJIA stocks selling for under $20 a share has gone from 12 to seven. In addition to the four just mentioned, that short list now includes GE again at $12.69 per share; Intel, $15.81; and Pfizer, $13.58.

Purchasing one share of all 30 stocks that make up the DJIA based on prices at the close of business of Friday, May 1, 2009 would cost over 20 percent more now than they did then. The figures: $858.58 then; $1031.09 now. Again, that’s over the past two months.

Looking at the past thirty days, according to Navellier’s weekly Marketmail dated 5/1/09: “U.S. stocks in April capped off one of the best months in history. The Dow climbed 7.3% for the month, the S&P 500 gained 9.4%, and the Nasdaq surged 12.3%.”

As for equity funds, of the 12,946 stock funds that Lipper tracks, their average performance was up 11.62 percent during the month of April alone.

Of course, all of this hoorah could be short-lived or turn ugly but for the moment if there are a couple of lessons that can be taken from all of this they might be: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause and indeed stocks can move ahead when few think that’s possible; short-term gains can be really impressive—even worth taking; and no, we don’t know if this rally will be sustained. But it sure was good to see.

Hope your picks are doin good.

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