Some welcome macroeconomic news late last week from the Conference Board (see below) kept both the Dow and AdMarket 50 in modestly positive territory. It also kept the Dow safely above 10,000, which it fell precipitously close to in mid-December. For the 50 stocks surveyed by AdMarket, 38 were up and 12 posted declines. Among the hardest hit in the group were Coca-Cola Co., which disappointed some analysts with weaker-than-expected North American sales; Anheuser Busch Cos.; and Procter & Gamble Co.
Weakness earlier in December among agency stocks-the bottom three performers in the Dec. 17 AdMarket 50 were Cordiant Communications Group, Havas Advertising and Interpublic Group of Cos.-dissipated somewhat, though Havas still slipped slightly and Publicis Groupe landed in the bottom five. Given low trading volumes following the Conference Board report, real recovery in the market-should it materialize-will be postponed into 2002, though weary investors may be willing to wait a few days.