The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9,388, its first positive day since Sept. 30. The rebound came as investors went bargain hunting amid signs that government attempts to shore up credit markets were finally gaining traction. To be sure, the Dow is still down 33.9% from its October 2007 peak.
AdMarket 50 Up 9.7%
The Ad Age/Bloomberg AdMarket 50 jumped 9.7%, with 29 of the 50 marketer, media and agency stocks seeing double-digit gains.
General Motors Corp. rocketed 33.1% today, the AdMarket's biggest gain. GM rebounded after last week hitting its lowest point since 1950. Ford Motor Co. jumped 20.1%.
Other big gainers among marketers included Microsoft Corp. (up 18.6%); American Express Co. and Sprint Nextel (both up 17.9%); and AT&T (up 16.3%).
Agencies get some relief
Agency stocks rebounded in lockstep: WPP Group rose 14.2%; Omnicom Group gained 13.4%; Interpublic Group of Cos. increased 13%.
Seventeen of the AdMarket's 19 media stocks posted gains. Newspapers were the exception: The New York Times Co. slid 7.1%, and Gannett Co. slipped 0.9%.
McGraw-Hill Cos. leaped 23.8%; News Corp. jumped 20.3%. Google climbed 14.8%, rebounding from last week's multiyear low.
Was that the bottom?
Did last week mark the bear market's nadir? Who knows. It's true that bear markets generally end before recessions hit bottom as investors bet on the next business cycle expansion.
But just last week, bearish prognosticators pronounced we are in a secular bear market -- a long-term downward trend tempered by periodic rallies. This downturn hasn't yet even officially been ruled a recession, and there remain major issues to be dealt with relating to credit and housing markets.