Wreckage Far and Wide as Dow Tumbles

Publicis Drops 13.5%; Entercom Down 11.2%; Yum Brands Down 8.1%

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Finally, some happy news: The Dow today fell only 370 points or 3.6% to close at 9,956.

Good news considering the Dow Jones Industrial Average earlier today plunged in intraday trading by 800 points to 9,525, a five-year low, on mounting fears of recession and growing worries about instability of global and U.S. credit markets.

When all was said and done, the Dow closed below 10,000 for the first time since 2004.

Ad Age/Bloomberg AdMarket 50
The Ad Age/Bloomberg AdMarket 50 tumbled to its lowest intraday low since May 2003 before recovering much of its one-day losses. The AdMarket index finished the day down 3.5%. See current prices of AdMarket 50 stocks here.

The wreckage was far and wide, with 29 AdMarket members -- major marketer, media and agency stocks -- sinking to 52-week lows during the day.

Sharpest declines based on today's close: agency firm Publicis Groupe (down 13.5%); Entercom Communications, a radio broadcaster (down 11.2%); McGraw-Hill Cos., the media and research firm (down 9%); Ford Motor Co. (down 8.9%); agency firm WPP Group (down 8.3%); and Yum Brands, a fast-food company (down 8.1%)

Auto stocks were hammered amid growing concerns about how willing -- and able, given credit markets -- consumers will be to make such big-ticket purchases.

Many categories feel pain
But numerous categories took a hit today, suggesting increasing Wall Street worries about the wide effects of a downturn. McDonald's Corp., for example, slumped 5.1%; Wal-Mart Stores and Procter & Gamble Co. each fell more than 3%.

Time Warner, the nation's biggest media company, fell below $11 to its lowest point since 2003 before closing at $11.23, down 7.3%.

Interpublic Group of Cos. ended trading at $6.67, down 5.4%. During the day, the agency holding company fell to its lowest point ($6.35) since the 1991 recession.

The Dow is now down 29.9% from the all-time high it reached one year ago this week.

Could it get any worse? Yes. The Dow, after all, fell 38% from 2000 to its 2002 post-bubble nadir.

From its October 2002 nadir, the Dow nearly doubled to its October 2007 peak. It's now given back more than half of those gains.
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