A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 28, 2015
Nifty Fifty

“Nifty Fifty” was a term popular in early 1970s to represent fifty growth stocks, with high price-to-earnings ratios, that drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The “Nifty Fifty” were supposedly good stocks that one could buy and hold and then watch increase in value, but the stocks slumped in the recession of 1974. The term “Nifty Fifty” has been cited in print since at least January 1974, when it was mentioned in several articles by Robert Metz of the New York (NY) Times.
“Nifty” is said in Wikipedia to mean “National Index for Fifty,” but those words don’t appear in either The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. “Nifty fifty” has also been used as a British slang term for masturbation, although this is probably not related to the American financial term.
“Nifty Nine” stocks became popular in November 2015.
Wikipedia: Nifty Fifty
Nifty Fifty refers to the 50 popular large-cap stocks on the New York Stock Exchange in the 1960s and 1970s that were widely regarded as solid buy and hold growth stocks.
The fifty are credited with propelling the bull market of the early 1970s. Most are still solid performers, although a few are now defunct or otherwise worthless.
The long bear market of the 1970s that lasted until 1982 caused valuations of the nifty fifty to fall to low levels along with the rest of the market, with most of these stocks under-performing the broader market averages.
NIFTY means National Index for Fifty
DEFINITION of ‘Nifty 50’
The 50 stocks that were most favored by institutional investors in the 1960s and 1970s. Companies in this group were usually characterized by consistent earnings growth and high P/E ratios.
1 January 1974, Boston (MA) Herald American, “Stocks Less Glamorous Now: A Second Look, At ‘Nifty Fifty’” by Robert Metz (New York Times News Service), pg. 54, col. 4:
NEW YORK—Earlier this year, the so-called “nifty fifty” stocks were a bastion of strength in an otherwise demoralized stock market.
The “nifty fifty” were companies of stocks offering superior earnings growth and they carried as a result price-earnings rations in the 30s and more while the run-of-the-mill stocks had price-earnings rations of under 10.
New York (NY) Times
Market Place; Are the Nifty Fifty Passe?
October 03, 1974
Section , Page 62
Now that it is evident that the bank favorites of the early nineteen-seventies-the so-called Nifty Fifty stockshave failed as bulwarks against the bear market, the question arises whether the stocks are bargains at their current depressed levels.
24 May 1976, Screw magazine, “Letter from London” by David Franklin & Tuppy Owens, pg. ?:
The nifty fifty—female masturbation.
Google Books
High Steppers, Fallen Angels, and Lollipops:
Wall Street Slang

By Kathleen Odean
New York, NY: Dodd, Mead
Pg. 8:
Institutional investors once worshipped the Nifty Fifty, a group of glamour stocks and more traditional stocks, including such familiar names as American Express, J. C. Penny, Avon,and McDonalds.  Some say that the “fifty” in this Favorite Fifty refers to fifty companies; others, to the stocks’ selling prices of fifty times their earnings.  Market pros in the 1980s occasionally harken the birth of a new Nifty Fifty or the return of the old, which fell from glory in 1974.  (The name was parodied in the phrase Shifty Thrifties, a 1984 description of banks that took large credit risks.) Traders also dubbed the original Nifty Fifty Vestal Virgins from the legendary six virgins who tended the sacred fire brought by Aeneas from Troy to Rome.
OCLC WorldCat record
There Are Plenty of Cheap Stocks: The bull run affects mainly the Nifty 50
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: BUSINESS WEEK -NEW YORK- no. 3582, (June 15, 1998): 86-87
Database: British Library
OCLC WorldCat record
C.J. Lawrence new nifty fifty : update : bottom-fishing for stocks.
Author: C.J. Lawrence, Morgan Grenfell Inc.; Midland Capital Corporation. Research Department.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Midland Capital, Research, 1990.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
USA Today
Remember the Nifty Fifty?
Chris Pummer, Ozy.com 11:43 a.m. EDT April 1, 2014
Investment fads usually run their course quickly and end badly. The Nifty Fifty captivated investors for the better part of a decade prior to its demise in 1973, but not before reviving the high-risk investing that had been out of vogue since the Crash of ‘29.
The 50 stocks identified by Morgan Guaranty Trust represented some of the fastest-growing companies on the planet in the latter half of the 1960s. Their popularity among institutional and individual investors sparked a quantum shift from “value” investing to a “growth at any price” mentality that resurfaced with a vengeance in the tech-stock bubble a quarter century later.
Google Books
The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
By Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor
New York, NY: Routledge
Pg. 547:
nifty fifty noun an act of masturbation. A rhymed approximation of the number of movements required; Often in the phrase “give it the nifty fifty”. UK 1984

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Saturday, November 28, 2015 • Permalink

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