Media stocks plunged amidst general carnage in the markets Monday with movie theater shares – AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, National Cinemedia, hard hard hit but declines across sectors from broadcasting to entertainment to satellite. The tech sector was down 20% from its all time-time.
In its worst single-day decline since the coronavirus gripped the global, the Dow plunged by more than 7% and media and entertainment felt the pain across the board. AMC Entertainment – which has movie theaters in Italy where movement was restricted and public venues shuttered over the weekend – saw its shares plunge more than 15% to $3.884 just before the close. Cinemark stock fell 10.45% and National Cinemedia was off 14.3% as investors were spooked by the prospects of theaters in this country as well as cases continue to multiply.
The DJIA fell 7.8% or 2,013 points – it’s worst point drop ever and the biggest percentage drop since 2008. The S&P 500 was down 7.6% and the Nasdaq lost 7.3%.
The other biggest losers included broadcaster Nexstar, down nearly 14%; Dish, off 14.65%: Snap, down 12%; and ViacomCBS off 11.13% – all down double-digits and even more than the broader market.
Shares of Disney fell 9.53%. Comcast lost 6.17% and Netflix 6.09%.
Social media and tech stocks were also pummeled. Facebook was down 6.4.%, Amazon was down 5.3%. Google dropped 6.8%. Apple lost 5 7.1%. Data release by China showed a plunge in February iPhone sales year-on-year.
Twitter fell 6.35% despite news that it made peace with activist investor Elliott Management, which had agitated for CEO Jack Dorsey to leave and other measures.
Exacerbating coronavirus fears in the market were oil prices, which collapsed over the weekend as major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia went into a price war over cuts in production. Investors fled stocks to pile into safe assets like gold and treasures went up.
The situation appeared so serious Monday morning that trading was briefly halted and the U.S. Federal Reserve announced an increase in short-term lending to money markets to make sure there continues to be liquidity in the financial system.