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After three months of increased activity, new business dropped in April, but the picture is expected to continue improving, thanks to the upturn in the economy and corporate profits. Twenty-eight accounts changed hands, down 20% from 35 a year ago, and they were worth $1.1 billion, down 25% from $1.4 billion last year. Interpublic Group of Cos. improved its new-business record, thanks to Deutsch's win of the Old Navy creative account, but accounts continued to churn across its shops, with the Verizon account shifting from Lowe to McCann Erickson. Interpublic will have a large hole in the May totals, due to the shift of HSBC's global account from Lowe to J. Walter Thompson, which will help WPP Group's totals for the month.

Admarket 50

Stocks stage stealth rally: Stocks rallied quietly early in a week cut short by President Reagan's funeral. Investors, encouraged by the previous week's strong jobs report and the oil-price drop, picked up beaten-down shares and speculated on rumors that Sears, Roebuck & Co. will buy store locations from rival Kmart to expand its "big-box" Sears Grand stores. For the week, 31 AdMarket stocks were up and 19 down.

Media shares were mixed, as the industry waits out a challenge to the government's relaxation of media-ownership rules. Settling federal indecency charges didn't help Clear Channel Communications, while newspaper companies dropped when news of cost-cutting at Tribune Co. raised doubts about the medium's ad recovery.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended June 11, based on stock-trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial-news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices June 4. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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