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IPG, WPP News Welcomed

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Ad stocks on rise for fifth consecutive week

Bad news about consumer prices and housing starts failed to dampen the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week, with stocks ending higher for the fifth week in a row. Among ad-industry stocks, traders reacted positively to news from Interpublic Group, which announced the sale of research unit NFO WorldGroup to Taylor Nelson Sofres, and WPP Group, which made a top-management change at Young & Rubicam. Adding to the optimism, the kickoff of the networks' upfront raised expectations of a significant increase in committed ad dollars over last year. On the Big Board, IPG rose 5.8 percent to close the week at $12.80; Omnicom Group was up 1.3 percent to $66.95; and WPP, trading as American Depository Receipts on the Nasdaq, rose 8.5 percent to finish at $39.74. —david kaplan