Battered Market Pounds Cable

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to slide Tuesday, dropping 508.39 points after a late-day sell off to close at 9,447.11, its lowest level since 2003 and sending cable stocks into a second straight day of decline.

The drop-off came despite signals from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that interest rates could drop and reports that a proposed bailout of British Banks was making progress. The Dow, which has dropped more than 800 points in the past two days, wasn’t the only index to suffer another body blow – the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell below 1,000 for the first time in five years (driven by losses in the financial sector it closed Tuesday a 996.25, down 60.64 points) and the NASDAQ stock exchange lost 108.8 points to close at 1,754.88 points.

Cable stocks continued to decline, with Cablevision Systems losing the most ground ($1.72 each or 8.6%) to close at $18.35 per share. Comcast was next, falling 99 cents each (5.5%) to $17.15 per share, followed by Time Warner Cable, off 36 cents each (1.6%) to $21.55 per share. Mediacom Communications was down 59 cents each (11.1%) to $4.74, while Charter Communications slipped 8 cents (12.9%) to 54 cents each.

Satellite TV stocks fared no better – Dish Network dipped $1.13 per share (6.3%) to $16.93 each and DirecTV Group was down 50 cents (2.1%) to $23.15.

Programming stocks also continued to feel the pain, with News Corp. dipping 68 cents to $10.12 per share; Viacom down $1.08 each to $22.46 and Time Warner Inc., dipping 50 cents to $10.73 per share. The Walt Disney Co. fell $1.69 per share to $26.57 each.