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U.S. ad spending rose again in November, driven by strong gains in broadcast media advertising. All consumer media rose, except for Spot TV, which suffered from comparisons to last year, when mid-term elections brought in millions in local political advertising. Meanwhile, newspapers showed a strong upswing, thanks to retailers' optimistic projections for a strong 2003 holiday season.

AdMarket 50

Strong earnings. mixed feelings: Strong reports of corporate earnings and retail sales trumped disappointing employment numbers on Wall Street. Investors were slightly put off by lower-than-expected job creation, but conversely projected the weak employment picture will keep the Federal Reserve from hiking interest rates for now. Half the AdMarket 50 stocks were up for the week and half were down.

Retailers and consumer-goods companies were all buoyed by strong earnings and January same-store sales reports. Investors were lovin' McDonald's Corp.'s 19% sales growth and PepsiCo's 30% profit hike. Ad agencies and media companies were mixed in the wake of the disappointing employment report. Primedia was down in spite of announcing a small fourth-quarter profit and a restructuring.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Feb. 6, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Jan. 30. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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