Gradual Growth

Strong analyst reports for Coca-Cola and others gave underlying support to a market buffeted once again by rising oil price concerns and Friday’s $250 million verdict against Merck & Co. Though the verdict in the case against the company’s Vioxx drug dampened enthusiasm, UBS revised its recommendation on Coca-Cola from “neutral” to “buy,” pushing the company’s stock up nearly 2 percent. The Dow finished the week relatively flat at 10,559.23, down 101.08 points (nearly 0.1 percent). The Nasdaq finished at 2135.56, down 20.74 points (1 percent). In advertising stocks, Omnicom closed at 83.65, nearly flat from last week’s 83.67. Interpublic Group finished at 12.25, up 0.31 points (2.6 percent) from last week. WPP Group, trading as American Depository Receipts, finished up 0.85 points (nearly 1.6 percent) to close at 54.07.