The Ad Market

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Turn Signals

Ad spending continued to recover in the first half, thanks to automotive, packaged goods and entertainment advertisers. Only network TV spending dropped slightly, mainly due to comparisons to the Olympic period in 2002, but the long-suffering business-to-business titles showed a slight increase, after two years of negative numbers.

AdMarket 50

Markets labor upward: The markets crawled higher leading to the holiday weekend, as investors were encouraged by higher-than-expected disposable-income numbers and an unexpected upward revision to the gross domestic product growth rate for the second quarter. A rise in the index tracking Midwest industrial production cheered investors, but trading was light before the holiday. For the week, 38 AdMarket stocks were up and 12 were down.

Reports that U.S. ad spending bounced back strongly benefited media and agency stocks (See Turn Signals, above). Clear Channel Communications surged as the radio behemoth got good reviews from analysts, but Walt Disney Co. dropped as analysts zeroed in on financial trouble at its Euro Disney park. .

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Aug. 29, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Aug. 22. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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