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WARNING SIGN: February's 2.3% growth in measured ad spending marked the smallest monthly comparable-period gain since the advertising recovery began in May 2002.1 Half of 16 measured media types were down or flat in February, raising questions about AdMarket prospects.

AdMarket 50

WAITING FOR TUESDAY: The AdMarket 50 was up for the week, reflecting the bump from the broader market. Though the Dow was down 21.28 on May 20, it didn't dampen the spirit of a week in which the market soared more than 300 points. Still, Wall Street is bracing for the May 24 release of the minutes of Federal Reserve's May 3 meeting to get a better sense of economic growth. For the week, a whopping 44 AdMarket stocks were up, and six were down.

Ford Motor Co.'s stock rose in part on news reports that it would reacquire about 14 unprofitable plants from auto supplier Visteon, which it spun off in 2000. Fitch Ratings analyst Mark Oline said in a research note that it's in Ford's interest to make Visteon more competitive, particularly since 70% of Visteon's business comes from Ford. Losses were modest for the bottom five this week, though interesting to note that four of the five were media companies.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended May 20 based on stock trading supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices May 13. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under BAAX.

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