Cable stocks rode the rising tide of the overall market Wednesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 224 points after the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates for the first time in seven years.
The move was widely anticipated—it increased its benchmark federal funds rate, which had been held near zero since December 2008, a quarter-percentage-point to between 0.25% and 0.50% from the previous range of 0% to 0.25%. The agency said it expects to raise rates gradually as it sees how the economy performs.
Cable stocks fared well with the rest of the market. Leading the charge was Liberty Broadband, the tracking stock that holds Liberty Media’s interest in Charter Communications, up 3.7% ($1.84) to $51.52 per share, followed by Cablevision Systems, up 3.1% (94 cents) to $31.22; Liberty Global, up 2.9% ($1.15) to $41.15; Charter, up 2.8% ($5.06) to $183.31; and Time Warner Cable, up 2.2% ($3.98) to $185.06 per share. Comcast rounded out the sector with a 1.6% gain (95 cents) to $58.70 per share.
On the programming side, the gains hovered in the 2% range – Scripps Networks Interactive was up 2.7% ($1.44) to $55.03; MSG Networks rose 2.5% (50 cents) to $20.73; Discovery rose 2.5% (66 cents) to $27.18; 21st Century Fox rose 2.1% (56 cents) to $27.90; and Time Warner Inc. rose 1.8% to $65.90 per share. Rounding out the programmers were Disney, up 1.5% ($1.63) to $113.79; CBS, up 1.4% (67 cents) to $47.50; and Viacom, up 1.3% (53 cents) to $41.51. AMC Networks, which is moving through a potentially contentious carriage battle with the National Cable Television Cooperative, fell about 1% (59 cents) to $77.87 per share.