After the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted an 800-point loss on Wednesday, its steepest of 2019, the stock market stabilized Thursday and most media and tech shares saw their fortunes improve.
It was not an upbeat day for the soon-to-merge CBS and Viacom, however. The two companies saw their stock prices drop for the fourth trading session of the past five. CBS finished at $43.37, down nearly 3%, while Viacom ended at $25.95, also down a bit less than 3%.
Viacom and CBS on Tuesday finally announced their long-awaited plan to merge, with an expected close by the end of 2019. The unveiling drew a few downbeat reactions on Wall Street but many analysts remain bullish on the benefits of the combination.
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The downtrend in the companies’ stocks leaves them both toward the low end of their 52-week ranges, and each has entered negative territory for 2019 to date. Trading volume on both stocks on Thursday was about twice the average level.
Virtually all other media or tech issues wound up in positive territory on Thursday. The only company to see a bigger decline than CBS or Viacom was Lionsgate, which fell to a new 52-week low of $11 a share during the day before ending at $11.05, down 5%. Fox Corp. pulled back nearly 3% on the day and Snapchat parent Snap Inc. posted a 2% drop.
The Dow finished at 25,579.39, up just shy of 100 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were closer to break-even. Overall, the markets seemed more stable than they had been on Wednesday, when anxiety about data suggesting a looming recession sent investors to the sidelines. Stronger-than-expected retail data and a solid quarter for Walmart offered some reassurance Thursday about the state of the domestic economy.
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