Ad spending for the first three quarters of 2003 has managed to hold up well compared to 2002. The real test comes in the fourth quarter, when the absence of political advertising will be felt strongly among the local media, and with the fall network season off to a weak start.
Inflation news lifts stocks: A drop in wholesale prices and indications that inflation is under control gave investors more reason to buy stocks, leading to modest gains. A late-week report of lower consumer confidence did not affect the markets and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 for the first time in over 18 months. For the week, 28 AdMarket stocks were up and 22 were down.
Media companies gained after several speakers made optimistic comments at financial conferences, but newspaper companies saw fewer gains, given their more conservative outlooks. (See stories, at right). Time Warner hit a 52-week high, in spite of news of more layoffs at its America Online unit and Primedia rose on news of a possible buyer for New York Magazine.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Dec. 12, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. Due to holiday schedules, all comparisons are vs. closing prices Wednesday, Dec. 5. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.