The Ad Market

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It's a buyer's market for agency companies; agency executives expect fewer mergers and acquisitions and lower price tags this year. More on the surveys: QwikFIND AAN34K

AdMarket 50

Bad news: A higher-than-expected unemployment rate threw the stock markets a curve amid all the reports of improving economic statistics. Add to that a fear of higher oil prices due to turmoil in the Middle East and investors ran for cover. For the week, 14 AdMarket stocks were up; 36 were down.

Agency and media stocks for the most part did better than marketers. Investors remained skeptical about Ford Motor Co.'s turnaround plan and punished tech companies. AOL Time Warner, still fighting concerns about its debt load, hit a post-merger low of $21.66 April 5 while other media companies-especially those that own TV stations, such as Gannett Co.-showed better performance. Publisher and broadcaster Meredith Corp. hit a new 52-week high.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketers, agency and media companies for the week ended April 5, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are based on closing prices March 28.

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