Bright Beginning

Stocks began the first week of 2006 strong. A Labor Department report on Friday revealed the economy only added 108,000 jobs in December, about half of projections. But the report, along with increased oil prices, led credence to the thought that the Federal Reserve might end its recent wave of interest rate hikes. For the first trading session of 2006, the Dow finished the week higher, gaining 241.01 points to close at 10,959.31, a 2.2 percent gain. The Nasdaq closed at 2,305.62, a gain of 89.09 points (4 percent). Advertising stocks also all increased in the first trading session of 2006. Omnicom closed at 85.93, increasing 0.44 points (0.5 percent). And following an upgrade from Merrill Lynch to neutral from sell, IPG gained 0.56 points to close at 10.22, a 5.7 percent increase. WPP Group increased 1.24 points to close at 56.16, a 2.3 percent gain.