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The Summer Olympics and the national elections will be catalysts for strong ad spending in the U.S. this year, according to a forecast from Universal McCann's forecasting guru, senior VP Robert J. Coen. Worldwide ad spending will grow 6% to $519.4 billion, with the U.S. up 7.3% to $263.3 billion and the rest of the world up 4.8% to $256.1 billion.

Admarket 50

Fed, Iraq keep hounding markets: Investors kept waiting for the Federal Reserve to act on interest rates June 30 and hoping the handover of sovereignty in Iraq will ease the uncertainty in the region. Wall Street got some relief from falling oil prices, but a late-week announcement of slower-than-expected first quarter economic growth doomed the week. Only 19 AdMarket stocks were up and 31 were down.

Agency stocks were all over the map. An ominous volume of trading ran up shares of Grey Global Group ahead of news of a possible sale, while executive changes at Interpublic Group of Cos. did not seem to move that battered stock much. (See stories, P. 1 and 3) Media stocks languished after several newspaper companies made mixed forecasts about the ad recovery at a financial conference.

Advertising Age and Bloomberg's AdMarket 50 index of 50 top publicly traded marketer, agency and media companies for the week ended June 25, based on stock trading data supplied by Bloomberg financial news service. All comparisons are vs. closing prices June 18. Full data available on Bloomberg terminals under index BAAX.

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