Programming

Media-Stock Gains Lag Behind Wall Street Rebound

Dow Jones Industrial Average sees 485-point gain; media stocks rise, albeit slightly. 9/30/2008 09:29:00 AM Eastern

The stock market bounced back Tuesday, reclaiming a big chunk of Monday’s jarring decline, although media stocks lagged behind in the one-day rally.

Heightened recession fears made investors worry about media advertising.

The bellwether Dow Jones Industrial Average spurted 485.21 points to close at 10,850.66 Tuesday, which represents a healthy 4.68% increase. Factoring in other stock-market indicators, Wall Street stocks averaged close to a 5% gain for the day.

Tuesday’s gain partly offset Monday’s jarring 777.68-point (7%) drop. The broad stock market seems totally focused on the federal government’s stalled credit-market recapitalization, and it reacted positively to pledges by political leaders that a new rescue plan will eventually pass Congress.

While the broad market bounced up early and stayed high all day, media stocks experienced a rollicking Tuesday. Big-capitalization media companies and TV broadcasting actually fell in early trading, then rebounded into positive territory by the end of the day with mostly unimpressive gains. Cable stocks made steady but moderate gains in Tuesday trading, surpassing TV broadcasting and big-cap media.

For big-cap stocks Tuesday, Disney rose 3.23%, CBS rose 1.96%, Time Warner advanced 1.63% and Fox parent News Corp. advanced just 0.66%. The happy exception for the category was Viacom class-A, which rose 5.07%, slightly above the broad market gain.

For TV broadcasters, modest gains were posted by Fisher Communications (3.58%), Sinclair Broadcast Group (1.61%) and Hearst-Argyle Television (1.5%). Nexstar Broadcasting Group -- shares of which have traded volatility both up and down in recent days -- fell 21.83%.

For the cable-TV/satellite segment, Comcast spurted 8.99%, Liberty Media advanced 6.17%, Hallmark Channel parent Crown Media Holdings rose 5.89% and Dish Network climbed 5.16%, all surpassing the broad market. But others in the same class were less impressive. Time Warner Cable edged up just 2.33%. Discovery Communications class-A and Scripps Networks Interactive actually declined by 2.33% and 0.11%, respectively.

September
October