Holding Course

This week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve loomed over the markets last week, which showed little movement. Investors were buoyed by a Commerce Department report Friday that had new home sales dropping 10.5 percent in February. A slowing economy, as indicated by the report, might prompt the Fed to raise rates only a quarter point to 4.25 percent. While hovering around its starting point all week, the Dow closed relatively flat at 11,279.97, a gain of 1.04 points. Similarly, the Nasdaq gained 0.89 points to 2,312.82. Ad stocks, however, finished the week even higher. Omnicom Group ended the period up 1.93 points, closing at 84.78—an increase of 2.3 percent. WPP Group also finished higher, gaining 0.8 points to close at 60.28—a gain of 1.3 percent. Despite reporting a $289 million loss for 2005, Interpublic Group jumped 3.3 percent to close at 10.44, a gain of 0.33 points.