Markets take a break: Economic statistics keep pointing to an end of the recession, but investors remain worried about corporate earnings. Two new bits of information-a small rise in consumer prices and another drop in initial unemployment claims-continue to forecast recovery, but bad news from marketers such as Nike (disappointing results) and McDonald's Corp. (an earnings warning) kept a lid on optimism. For the week, 21 AdMarket stocks were up and 29 were down.
Optimistic ad-spending forecasts buoyed agency stocks, especially those that had been battered recently, as investors sought a cheap way to cash in on the recovery. Meanwhile, AOL Time Warner suffered from analysts' downgraded estimates due to lower-than-expected online ad revenue at its America Online unit.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended March 22, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are based on closing prices March 15.