Wall Street went for another wild ride Wednesday, shedding more than 500 points, erasing Tuesday gains and more. And while no sector finished the day unscathed , cable stocks escaped the bloodshed with less damage than earlier in the week and one issue - Liberty Global - even ended the day on a positive note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down more than 200 points and the day got progressively worse as investors, wary of the health of European banks and the U.S. Federal Reserve's gloomy economic outlook, bailed out of financial stocks. All 30 stocks in the DJIA was down Wednesday, and the index finished at 10,719 , down 520 points and erasing Tuesday's gain of 429 points.
Cable stocks went on a roller coaster ride with the rest of the market - declines early in the day ranged from 3.2% for Liberty Starz to nearly 15% for Disney. But the stocks began to rally later in the day, with Liberty Global actually showing a small gain - 33 cents per share, or 1%.
For MSOs, declines were not as bad as Monday's 6% to 9% drops, with Time Warner Cable leading the losers with a 4.8% drop ($3.15 per share) to $62.29 each; Comcast, down 4.5% (93 cents) to $19.78; Cablevision, down 1.4% (23 cents) to $16.79; and Charter Communications down 1.9% (84 cents) to $44.35. International cable giant Liberty Global ended the day up 1% (33 cents) to $36.53 per share.
Disney led the decliners in the programming sector, down as much as 14.7% ($5.10 per share) earlier in the day before rallying to close at $31.52 per share, down $3.18 each (9.2%); followed by Scripps Networks, down 5% ($2.11) to $39.96 each; and News Corp., down 70 cents (4.7%) to $14.21 per share.
Rounding out the sector was Discovery Communications, down $1.04 each (2.8%) to $36.16; Liberty Starz, down $1.44 each (2%) to $69.09; AMC Networks, down 78 cents (2.5%) to $30.28; and Viacom, down 21 cents each (0.4%) to $52 per share.