The market had risen for all five consecutive trading days since Nov. 21, breathing easier as President-elect Barack Obama announced his economic team and plan. But stocks sank today on growing worries of a prolonged global recession. Manufacturing reports in the U.S., U.K. and China suggested weakening demand. The National Bureau of Economic Research today also confirmed the obvious: The nation is officially in recession -- and, in fact, has been since last December.
The Ad Age/Bloomberg AdMarket 50 dropped 7.1%. All 50 AdMarket stocks -- marketers, media, agencies -- fell. Those stocks, though, are all still above their 52-week lows; most hit their bear-market lows in November.
Marketers of consumer staples -- Procter & Gamble Co., Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo -- took a hit, suggesting investor fears that even sellers of package goods and food could face troubles in a slowdown.
Best and worst
The worst performers: ailing Sprint Nextel (down 24.4%); American Express Co. (down 15.7% in a weak financial sector); and coupon firm Valassis Communications (down 15.5%).
The best performers still showed big losses: McDonald's Corp. (down 4.4%); newspaper publisher McClatchy Co.; and retail leader Wal-Mart Stores (both down 5.1%).
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