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Veteran ad forecaster Robert J. Coen updated his forecast for ad spending in 2002 by reducing his total spending projections from growth of 2.4% last December to a midyear forecast of 2.1% growth, in part reflecting uncertainty about the slumping stock market. Local TV and other local media will benefit from political advertising in the second half, but cable will suffer from a wealth of channels splitting ad spending and magazine advertising will remain weak. (See The Week, P. 10.)

AdMarket 50

Still searching for the bottom: Bearish investors kept on selling, forcing markets to new multiyear lows. Positive forecasts from General Electric Co. and Dell Computer Corp. could not overcome brokerage downgrades of Big Three automakers. The Commerce Department announced consumer spending rose 1.1% in June, but the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index dropped to its lowest level since November, a hint that spending may slow down. Agency stocks held up relatively well, having taken their punishment already. Omnicom Group bounced back after weeks of market beatings, and Clear Channel Communications, Sprint Corp. and AT&T Corp. stopped their slide. For the week, six AdMarket stocks were up and 44 were down; 31 AdMarket stocks trade at or below their 1998 prices.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended July 12 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are based on closing prices July 5

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