Consumers are becoming more confident as the employment outlook and the economy continue to improve. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose again in June, following a surge in April. Consumers' outlooks for the next six months appear to be brightening, along with their spending plans. However, the threat of higher interest rates appears to be putting a damper on prospects for home sales-a big driver of consumer spending in the last three years.
Rates, jobs hit stocks: The announcement of an interest-rate hike early in the week did not faze investors as much as late-week news that job growth slowed in May. The rate hike had been anticipated and was already factored into many stocks, but the employment numbers sparked doubts about the economic recovery and consumer spending. For the week, 18 stocks were up, 29 were down and Microsoft Corp, Nike and Unilever were unchanged.
Agency and media stocks were mixed again, led by Grey Global Group, which surged on reports the agency is for sale (See story, p. 6). Among marketers, automakers dropped following news of weak sales last month, and retailers were mixed after the rate hike, with investors fearing consumer spending will drop.
Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended July 2, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices June 25. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.