Ad spending continued to improve in July, but the recovery is still uneven. Local newspapers and spot radio showed improvement, thanks to improvements in retail and auto advertising, but spot TV lost some ground to cable and syndication and business-to-business magazines continued to suffer, after a brief upswing in June.
Retail and jobless numbers help stocks: Indices rose to their high point in over a year in mid-week, helped by reports of rising September retail sales and fewer unemployment claims. But many investors headed into the Columbus Day holiday by taking out profits, leaving the market nearly flat. For the week, 37 AdMarket stocks were up, 12 were down and Grey Global Group was unchanged.
The economic news helped agency and media stocks rise to the top of the AdMarket. Yahoo! rose after it posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings, helped by higher advertising revenues, and increased its full-year earnings forecast, while General Electric Co., parent of the NBC network, suffered due to a weak earnings reports late in the week, even after it reached a promising deal to merge NBC with Vivendi Universal's U.S. entertainment assets in a joint venture.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended October 10, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices October 3. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.