The Ad Market

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VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE: The threat of war, tumbling stocks and rising unemployment are taking their toll on consumers. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index dropped in October to its lowest level since November 1993. Consumers' expectations for the next six months dropped, too, a bad sign for recovery.

AdMarket 50

Markets fight on: Stocks rallied to close a lackluster week of encouraging financial reports but disappointing economic numbers. Investors bet that higher unemployment, lower industrial production and a big drop in consumer confidence will lead the Federal Reserve Board to cut interest rates at its Nov. 6 meeting. For the week, 23 AdMarket stocks were up, 26 were down and Sprint Corp. was unchanged.

Primedia got a boost-and an upgrade from Merrill Lynch & Co.-after it posted a quarterly profit for the first time in years, while investors dumped Clear Channel Communications in spite of a strong third-quarter report after analysts reported concerns about the stock's high price. Disney also got punished, as investors continue to worry about low ratings at the ABC network and low attendance at its theme parks.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Nov. 1, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Oct. 25.

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