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 NEW YORK, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- If you are an individual investor, then chances are you don't give high marks to President Clinton's handling of the economy so far. According to the latest Quick & Reilly 500 Index of Individual Investor Sentiment, two-thirds of experienced investors disapprove of the president's economic performance, up from a 51 percent disapproval rating given last Spring. A clear majority (55 percent) also say they do not support the deficit reduction bill recently passed by Congress, with 37 percent of those voicing strong disapproval.
 However negative their view of the administration's economic agenda, these investors still express a high degree of confidence in the stock market, with 82 percent saying that they have bought or sold stock in the prior three months. That represents an increase of more than 30 percent from last Spring. Moreover, 54 percent say that they are buying more stocks than they are selling -- a clear sign that they anticipate a continued Bull market.
 As a result of this increased bullishness, the Index of Investor Sentiment, the 500 survey's principal barometer, rose to 53, up three points from last Spring, though still below the high of 57 in January when Clinton took office.
 Individual investors also revealed some surprising opinions toward specific economic policy issues. Sixty-two percent of respondents say that they favor a higher tax on gasoline as the best taxing alternative, and 54 percent favor increased personal taxes on high income households. This contrasts sharply to results from a recent Conference Board survey of general public opinion, which found that only 17 percent of Americans favor a higher gasoline tax, while 73 percent support increased personal taxes on high income households.
 Although the majority of these investors aren't rejoicing at the passage of the president's deficit reduction bill, they do show support for some specific measures included in the bill. The survey revealed strong approval for cuts in defense spending, welfare reform, and cuts in entitlements.
 Other major findings of the Quick & Reilly 500 include:
 Investor Sentiment
 -- Thirty-nine percent of sophisticated investors currently rate themselves as Bulls, up from 31 percent last Spring. Less than a quarter (22 percent) consider themselves to be Bears, down from 26 percent.
 -- Asked which is the greater concern over the next year, more respondents are concerned about the risk of a recession (52 percent) than worry about a rise in inflation (41 percent).
 Clinton and the Economy
 -- Fifty percent of investors say that President Clinton has done a poor job of presenting a specific plan for stimulating the economy.
 -- Seventy-nine percent of investors with portfolios in excess of $250,000 disapprove of Clinton's job on the economy, and 73 percent disapprove of the deficit reduction bill.
 Investor Behavior
 -- Investors are putting more of their money in stocks than they did last Spring. On average, the ideal portfolio mix is now seen as 55 percent in stocks, 19 percent in bonds, and 26 percent in cash.
 -- Some 96 percent of investors with portfolios in excess of $250,000 bought or sold stock in the past quarter, while 50 percent of those with portfolios less than $250,000 made fewer than five stock transactions during the same period.
 The Quick & Reilly 500 Index is a quantitative measure of individual investor sentiment. Index questions -- posed to 500 of the nation's most sophisticated individual investors -- encompass a number of areas ranging from outlook on the economy and stock market to opinions about specific policy matters and investing behavior.
 Survey findings are compiled from results of telephone interviews with 500 active investor clients of Quick & Reilly Inc., which were conducted by the Wirthlin Group between July 15 and 17. Sample error for a group of this size is plus or minus 4.5 percent, at the 95 percent -onfidence level.
 Quick & Reilly, Inc. was the first New York Stock Exchange member firm to offer discounted commissions to individual investors. Headquartered in New York, Quick & Reilly services its clients through 92 offices in every major city across the country.
 -0- 8/23/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas C. Quick, president of Quick & Reilly, Inc., 212-747-4840/

CO: Quick & Reilly, Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO

TS-OS -- NYFNS1 -- 4884 08/23/93 07:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 23, 1993
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