The Ad Market

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Consumer confidence remains as shaky as the outlook for the recovery. After a surge in March and a slip in April, the consumer confidence index rose again in May. Consumers are still upbeat about a recovery later this year, but they don't think the economy will bounce back as strongly as they had expected earlier.

AdMarket 50

Stocks rise--too little, too late: An updraft May 31 wasn't enough to pull the market out of its funk. Reports that manufacturing, productivity and manufacturers' orders were up--along with a previous upswing in the University of Michigan consumer confidence index--helped stocks edge up May 31, but it wasn't enough to make up for four straight losing sessions. Only 15 AdMarket stocks were up and 35 were down for the week.

Bargain hunters cherry-picked battered agency and media stocks, pushing up Cordiant Communications Group, Digitas and Havas, but the two groups continued to bring up the rear of the AdMarket. Among marketers, investors disapproved of AT&T Corp.'s plans to raise $2.25 billion in equity but liked Philip Morris Cos.' deal to sell Miller Brewing Co.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended May 31 based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices May 24.

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