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Mixed Messages

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Despite worries about how Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath might affect the long-term economy, a strong jobs report and news that the U.S. and Europe would tap their oil reserves buoyed the markets on Friday. The Labor Department reported the economy created 169,000 new jobs in August, pushing inflation to a four-year low of 4.9 percent. The Dow was up 50.47 points (0.4 percent from the previous week) to 10,447.37, while the Nasdaq gained 28.63 points (1.3 percent) to close at 2141.07. But concerns about Katrina's impact are still to be felt, providing some uncertainty. In advertising stocks, Omnicom was flat, up only 0.18 points to close at 80.58, while Interpublic dropped 0.24 points (2 percent) to close at 11.71. WPP Group, trading as American Depository Receipts on the Nasdaq, was down 0.16 points (0.3 percent), closing at 51.93.