UPDATE, 1:34 PM: This was a bad day for stock owners — in media and elsewhere. Yet many investors are breathing a sigh of relief that the numbers were less gruesome than expected this morning when prices plummeted following a selloff in global markets including an 8.5% drop in Shanghai.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 3.6%, recovering somewhat from a 6.6% fall earlier in the day. The S&P 500 ended -3.9%. And the Dow Jones U.S. Media Index was -3.8%.
Netflix was down 6.5% — a paper loss of $3 billion in its market value. No need to feel sorry for the streaming giant, though: The company’s shares are still up nearly 99% since the beginning of 2015.
Media companies touching 52-week lows during the day include Apple, AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Carmike Cinemas, CBS, Discovery, Dish Network, Lionsgate, Microsoft, News Corp, Regal Entertainment, Scripps Networks, Time Warner, TiVo, Tribune Media, Fox, Twitter, Verizon, Viacom, and Yahoo.
Here’s how Big Media companies fared: Sony -5.2%, Time Warner -4.0%, Fox -3.9%, Viacom -3.6%, Disney -3.5%, Comcast -3.4%, and Discovery -3.3%. Others licking their wounds today include World Wrestling Entertainment -7.0%, RealD -5.8%, Amazon -5.5%, Imax -5.4%, and AMC Entertainment -4.3%.
Investors initially were concerned about unexpected weakness in China, which recently devalued its currency. But today’s gyrations also reflect concerns that other emerging markets will stall. Some also wonder whether the Federal Reserve, eager to stimulate the economy, will keep interest rates low — which some fear will result in higher inflation.
PREVIOUS, 6:51 AM: Maybe it’s a rout. Maybe it’s just a correction. But whatever it is, the market downturn this morning is serious — and affects virtually every major media company.
Netflix, the sector’s highest flyer, is off 9.6%, suggesting a more than $4 billion loss in its market value. In the first few minutes of trading companies touching 52-week lows included Apple, AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Carmike Cinemas, CBS, Discovery, Dish Network, Lionsgate, Microsoft, Regal Entertainment, Scripps Networks, Time Warner, Tivo, Tribune Media, Fox, Twitter, Verizon, Viacom, and Yahoo.
Investors fear that the global economy is weakening — including in China, until recently seen as a growth driver. The Shanghai composite index fell 8.5% today, leading the country’s official news agency, Xinhua, to dub this “Black Monday.”
That spilled over to the U.S. this morning as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.4% and the S&P 500 dropped 4.1% in early trading. The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index was off 4.0%.
Things are changing quickly, but here’s the early picture for Big Media: Sony -8.6%, Fox -6.1%, Discovery -5.4%, Time Warner -3.9%, Viacom -4.6%, Disney -4.8%, Comcast -3.4%, and CBS 3.5%.
More broadly in media we see: Lionsgate -12.5%, Twitter -9.5%, Madison Square Garden -7.3%, National CineMedia -9.9%. and Yahoo 7.4%.