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The Conference Board's Help Wanted Index-a strong indicator of the health of the economy and the newspaper industry-dropped again in August. Although the Conference Board's analysts don't see signs of a slide back into recession, the drop signals a drawn-out recovery for newspaper advertising.

AdMarket 50

Stocks can't get a break: Market malaise continued for the sixth week in a row, in spite of a rally attempt early in the week. War anxiety, a management lockout in West Coast ports and spotty economic data-lower unemployment claims, but lower payrolls-combined with more earnings warnings from the likes of Boeing Co. to drive down the market. Eleven AdMarket stocks were up and 39 were down.

Agency stocks were battered after direct marketer Advo warned fourth-quarter results will miss expectations and rival Catalina Marketing trimmed expectations for the quarter and next year, citing weak advertising. Rival direct marketer Digitas rose after it announced third-quarter fee revenue will be higher than expected, even if it still plans to post a loss.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Oct. 4, 2002 is based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Sept. 27.

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