Going Against the Wind

A weak dollar and deflation fears made for a feeble advance in stock prices on the Dow Jones Industrial Average last Friday. Several concerns among marketing-communications-industry investors, such as the threat of a global ban on tobacco ads, mixed with positive prospects for the upfront market. Though a report by Merrill Lynch expects upfront spending to rise at least 7 percent from 2002, the analysts believe it has little bearing on the outlook for ad expenditures overall. On the Big Board, IPG was up 2.9 percent to close the week at $13.06; Omnicom shares fell 1 percent to close at $65.65; and British holding company WPP, trading as American Depository Receipts on the Nasdaq, rose 0.9 percent to $39.34. —david kaplan