Bipolar personality disorder haunted the stock markets on Halloween. Stocks tried to rally on the anticipation of a government stimulus package and another interest rate cut when the Federal Reserve meets again Nov. 6. But it couldn't fend off a bad-news hat trick: a record surge in October unemployment numbers along with sharp drops in consumer confidence and manufacturing activity indices. Seventeen AdMarket stocks were up and 33 down for the week.
Investors had mixed feelings about agency and media stocks, which continue to suffer from the weak economy. Cordiant Communications Group got a vote of confidence from Fidelity Investments, which increased its stake in the company to 8%. Investors also bid up WPP Group, despite the U.K. Takeover Panel's continued rejection of WPP's arguments to back out of a plan to acquire Tempus Group, a deal analysts believe is overpriced.