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MONEY SMALL INVESTOR INDEX: SMALL INVESTORS RUSH INTO ENERGY STOCKS

 /ADVANCE/ NEW YORK, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As natural gas prices have risen 25 percent and oil prices have stabilized, individual investors have poured millions of dollars into mutual funds that hold energy stocks, according to data gathered for Money magazine's Small Investor Index.
 Sales of the funds spurted sevenfold to $127 million in the past six weeks, from $17 million in the previous six weeks, according to AMG Data Services of Arcata, Calif.
 For example, the Fidelity Select Energy Fund, with $187 million in assets, has been swamped with $100 million in fresh cash since Feb. 1, vs. only $7 million in late December and January. The fund has returned 10.6 percent so far this year, making it the third best performer of Fidelity's 36 industry-specific funds.
 Similarly, investors have added $15 million to Vanguard's $198 million Specialized Energy Portfolio in the past six weeks, vs. $4 million in the previous six weeks. The fund has earned 13.5 percent this year, the best performance of all 70 Vanguard funds.
 Investors, who shunned oil and gas stocks in 1992, have rushed back into them, chiefly because the cold winter has pushed up natural gas prices. At the same time, several OPEC countries have reduced oil production to prop up prices.
 In addition, many conservative investors have been attracted by energy stocks' dividend yields, some of which top 4 percent.
 Most analysts think the rally will continue. "Energy stocks could rise another 15 to 20 percent this year as the economic recovery stimulates demand and oil and gas supplies remain tight," says Bud Tower, director of research at Howard Weil in New Orleans.
 Last week, the typical individual investor's portfolio, as tracked by the Money Index, rose $2 to a record $46,257. Stocks lost $86, while bonds rose $74. CDs and money funds contributed $10.
 This Last Year % Change from a
 Week Week Ago Week Ago Year Ago
 102.65 102.65 94.45 0.00% +8.68%
 Latest Changes for Each Asset
 % Change from a
 Category Index Week Ago Year Ago
 Stocks:
 NYSE 104.34 -0.38% +13.58%
 ASE/OTC 101.55 -0.99 +9.82
 Equity funds 103.42 -0.42 +9.14
 Bonds:
 Taxable bonds 104.20 +0.33 +13.28
 Municipals 104.38 +1.72 +13.31
 Bond funds 103.91 +0.05 +11.31
 Cash:
 CDs 100.77 +0.07 +3.96
 Money funds 100.54 +0.05 +2.92
 Other:
 Real estate 101.83 +0.06 -6.69
 Gold 110.57 +1.83 +0.43
 Jan. 1, 1993 equals 100
 Where Average Small Investors Have Their Money Now
 Current Year Ago Current Year Ago
 NYSE 22.83% 23.41% Bond funds 6.86% 5.42%
 ASE/OTC 7.21 7.39 CDs 14.26 16.80
 Equity funds 6.74 5.21 Money funds 24.57 23.37
 Taxable bonds 8.72 9.83 Real estate 0.82 0.77
 Municipals 7.47 7.28 Gold 0.52 0.51
 Sources: Bank Rate Monitor, the Federal Reserve, Investment Company Institute, Lehman Bros., Lipper Analytical Services, Merrill Lynch, Money Fund Report, Morgan Stanley Capital International, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Prudential Asset Management, Standard & Poor's, Robert Stanger & Co., World Gold Council.
 -0- 3/22/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: This material is also available in printable form from AP GraphicsNet and Access services for graphics and tables (under the file name MoneyIndex) and from PR Newswire for full text./
 /CONTACT: Jordan Goodman of MONEY, 212-522-3618, or Patti Straus of MONEY public relations, 212-522-2695/


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Date:Mar 19, 1993
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