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Turn Signals

Employment in advertising agencies showed a 0.3% year-over-year increase in September Total employment in the industry-including advertising, public relations, media buying and direct marketing agencies-rose to 426,400. That's up 1.1% from August's number and, if it holds, will be the first year-over-year increase since April 2001. But numbers are preliminary; July's total was also up year-over-year until it was revised in August. The industry, like the job market as a whole, appears to be making a long, hard climb.

Admarket 50

Shopping helps stocks: Wall Street was relatively blase after the fourth interest rate hike of the year, but investors were encouraged by strong retail sales and an increase in the University of Michigan consumer confidence index. For the week, 35 AdMarket stocks were up, 14 were down and Catalina Marketing Corp. was unchanged, after its chief financial officer resigned.

Agencies did well, except for Interpublic Group of Cos., which had reported another quarterly loss a week earlier. Investors were encouraged by Time Warner's announcement of a restructuring at its AOL unit (see The Week, p. 20) but were less pleased when Coca-Cola Co.'s management announced plans to increase marketing spending and asked for investors' patience while it refocuses. (See story, P. 1)

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended Nov. 12, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices Nov. 5. Full data available in Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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