In its fifth-largest one day plunge, America's Dow Jones Industrial average index of thirty ‘signpost’ companies fell yesterday by 436.4 points to close at 10,208.2.

The freefall was triggered by warnings from Cisco Systems, Yahoo! and Intel that the economic slowdown will continue to affect earnings well into this year.

Media and agency shares were hard hit by investor twitchiness, Omnicom Group falling by 5.29% to close at $83.50. Interpublic was in similar mode, falling 4.89% to $35.77, while WPP Group American Depository Receipt stock sagged slightly by 1.75% to $59.63 and True North Communications, fell 1.55% to close at $37.55.

French global networks Publicis Groupe and Havas Advertising were similarly affected, the former down 5.32% to $32.90, while the latter closed at $14.25, a decrease of 4.20%.

Hardest hit of all agencies was MarchFirst, the ailing internet services specialist, which plummeted 13.89% to $0.97. Its chairman/ceo, president/chief operating officer and executive vp-client services tendered their resignations.

Nasdaq and the Standard & Poors 500 index both mirrored the Dow Jones plunge, S&P migrating by 53.12 points into bear market territory, 23% down from its all-time high and closing at 1,130.80.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline