The Ad Market

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Ad spending continued to improve in August, with year-over-year growth in nearly all categories. Among broadcast media, syndicated and cable TV continue to benefit from the trickle-down effect of tight inventory and higher prices at the network level, while radio continues to rake in increases in local advertising. Newspapers continue to show improvement, but national newspapers are flat and magazines keep recovering lost ground, except for the still-battered B-to-B publications.

AdMarket 50

Jobs rise, markets don't: The stock markets were nonplussed, even after the U.S. Labor Department released an unexpectedly strong jobs report for October. Investors, who had already factored in an economic recovery, were not moved to buy and left the markets flat for the week. Seventeen AdMarket stocks were down and 33 were up.

Media and agency stocks were mixed. Interpublic Group of Cos., which reports results Nov. 11, hit its highest price since August 2002 after J.P. Morgan Co. upgraded the stock. But Havas fell after a progress report on its restructuring (See The Week, P. 14). Clear Channel Communications rose after a third-quarter earnings report that mingled higher profits with a warning that fourth-quarter radio revenue may fall. News Corp. rose, thanks to rising profits from DVD sales and improved newspaper revenue.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Nov. 7, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Oct. 31. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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