Near-record stock selloff swamps agency shares, too

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Most agency stocks slid sharply today as the stock market recorded its second-largest point drop in history. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 512.61 points in a tumultuous afternoon sell-off to close at 7,039.07, down 6.4%, a level that wiped out all Dow gains for the year. Nearly all publicly held agency stocks closed down, with CKS Group hardest hit; the company's stock was down $3.56 to $13.69, a 20.7% drop. Leap Group posted the second-largest loss, dropping 16.67% to close at $2.50 down $0.50.

The only agency group rising in the down market was Cordiant Communications Group, which traded at $9.62, up 4.1%, or $0.38, shortly before 4 p.m. ET.

Among the major holding companies, Omnicom Group dropped 9.7% to close at $47.62, down $5.12, and True North Communications dropped $2.62 to close at $22.75, a 10.34% drop. Interpublic Group of Cos. was down 5%, dropping $3 to close at $57; WPP Group American Depositary Receipts traded down 1.58% on the NASDAQ exchange, at $54.38, down $0.88.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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