U.S. measured ad spending slipped 0.3% in May vs. year earlier, the first comparable-period monthly decline since the ad recovery began in 2002 1. May was hurt by a drop in newspapers and network TV.
Focus on: COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP. (COST)
The nation's retail sales Jan.-July rose 6.9% vs. a year ago, and Costco's right in line. COST's U.S. comp sales growth in June and July slipped from recent months, but comps fiscal year to date are up 7%; that compares to gains of 6% in '05, 9% in '04, 4% in '03 and 7% in '02. High oil prices have fueled COST gas sales; worldwide July comps (+7%) were boosted 1.6% by gas inflation. COST last month hit its top price since 2000.
Last week's score
Stocks surged on lower oil prices and hopes for stable interest rates. AdMarket hit its highest point since January; 43 stocks rose last week.