Business: Some Hope for Battered Stocks

Rarely has fear scored so total a victory over greed in the minds of investors as in the stock market of 1974. As traders worried about virulent inflation and mounting evidence of recession, many common stocks dropped to prices not seen since the 1950s. Rallies were brief and whimsical, reflecting sporadic technical adjustments rather than any lasting return of investor confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average sank to two twelve-year lows in two months, most recently on Dec. 6 when it dropped to 578. It closed last week at 593, up 15 points for the week but still 31% below the...