The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,519, its lowest close since Oct. 10, when it crashed to a bear-market nadir of 7,883 before closing at 8,451. The Dow is now 40% below its October 2007 peak.
Stocks tumbled in the final 30 minutes of trading but then bounced back to recover some of their losses.
The AdMarket 50 slumped 5.2%, with 49 of the leading marketer, media and agency stocks heading lower. The one positive: Yahoo, which rose 2.7%. Yahoo yesterday disclosed weak results and announced it would cut at least 10% of its employees; Bloomberg today reported growing speculation that Yahoo would make a deal to buy Time Warner's AOL.
Agencies hit hardest
The agency sector took the biggest hit among AdMarket stocks. WPP Group tumbled 11.5%; Omnicom Group slumped 9.3%; Interpublic Group of Cos. fell 8.9%. All three hit 52-week lows.
Interpublic shares are at their lowest point since 1989. Interpublic's market cap is just $2 billion.
Other big AdMarket losers included media titans CBS Corp. (down 11.7%), Walt Disney Co. (down 8.9%) and News Corp. (down 8.1%); newspaper publishers Gannett Co. (down 11.2%) and New York Times Co. (down 10.1%); drug maker Wyeth (down 10.7%); and ailing telecom Sprint Nextel (down 9.2%).