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Without Olympic and political advertising, spending will grow more slowly in 2005, but it will still advance at a steady clip, thanks to advertisers' growing budgets.

Admarket 50

Back where we started: Markets seesawed their way to a flat week, rising midweek as oil prices took a dive. A rise in the producer price index and U.S. deficit raised worries late in the week; consumer confidence numbers were encouraging, but investors sat it out, waiting for word on interest rates after the Dec. 7 Federal Reserve Board meeting. For the week, 19 AdMarket stocks were up and 31 were down.

News of a possible Nextel/Sprint Corp. deal pushed up telecom stocks, but media and agency stocks were mixed in spite of some upbeat forecasts at investor conferences this week (See stories, this page). Havas dropped on speculation that raider Vincent Bollore plans to sell his 20% stake to a rival company, while Meredith Corp. rose following an upbeat outlook at its conference presentations.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Dec. 10, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are versus closing prices Dec. 3.

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