Shares of Walt Disney, which closed down 0.76%, got knocked around a bit in late trading on news that the studio is yanking Mulan’s August release date and is postponing Star Wars and Avatar pics. It was down 1.62% after hours.
The news capped a day where tech stock drove shares lower with Twitter a bright spot as investors applauded a jump in users last quarter and the company’s plans to turn its growing reach into new revenue.
The DJIA fell more than 350 points, or 1.3%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 2.29%.
Facebook lost 3% in the midst of an advertising boycott over the social media giant’s content curation. Apple was down 4.5% on news that multiple U.S. states are investigating it for deceptive consumer practices. Amazon fell 3.6% and Google parent Alphabet was down 3.4%. The CEOS of Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google will testify Monday at an antitrust hearing in Congress.
Snap dropped 5.3%. The Snapchat parent has been having a tough week since coming up short on new users when it announced quarterly results Tuesday.
Netflix dropped 2.5%. It’s taken a hit despite a strong quarter after it predicted that subscriber growth in the current third quarter may not match the torrid pace of the first and second.
Microsoft dropped 4.3% after growth at its cloud computing business Azure slowed when it reported earnings Wednesday after market close.
Twitter’s big bump came after reporting this morning that it added a record 20 million users in the second quarter, reaching 186 million. Revenue dipped but CEO Jack Dorsey outlined a few strategies for growth, with a potential video subscription service in the mix. “We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business. We do think there is a world where subscription is complementary, where commerce is complementary,” he said. The shares ended up 4%.
AT&T, which reported this morning was down 0.86%. New CEO John Stankey offered an upbeat assessment of new streaming service HBO Max, which launched in late May.
The nation’s — and world’s — biggest exhibitor AMC Entertainment nosed up 0.74%. AMC announced earlier today that it would postpone the opening of its U.S. theaters from July 30 until mid-late August to coincide with major theatrical releases, which becomes increasingly hard as studios continue to juggle openings. Mulan had already been moved twice before dropping off the schedule.
Imax was off slightly by 0.54%. Imax China, the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Imax, warned of a net loss of $34-$36 million for the first half of the year on cinema closures due to COVID-19. China started reopening theaters Monday.
The move by AMC followed a spike in COVID-19 cases across the country that has delayed theatrical releases and the opening of theaters in a number of markets including big ones like New York and California.
The surge in cases forced some states to roll back reopening plans in June and July — one reason U.S. jobless claims likely rose last week for the first time since March. First time claims ticked up to 1.416 million last week, the Labor Department said.
Meanwhile, Congress continues to work on a new stimulus package. Senate Republicans said they have an agreement in principal with the White House and will release their plan early next week, according to CNBC. It’s said to include another round of PPP loans, and enhanced unemployment benefits — which currently expire at the end of July.
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