Dow Up 172 Points But Cable Stocks Lag

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After two straight days of losses, the Dow Jones industrial average finished Thursday on a positive note, up 172 points to 8,691.25, but not enough to lift cable stocks out of the doldrums.

The Dow started the day on a sour note—the index fell more than 250 points as investors continued to worry about a slowing economy. But a late rally in the final half-hour of trading pushed the market into positive territory for the first time since Monday. The index lost 231 points on Tuesday and plunged 514 points on Wednesday.

Cable stocks, battered over the past few days, were mixed. Time Warner Cable fell 36 cents (1.9%) to $18.90 per share; Cablevision Systems dropped $1.53 per share (9.4%) to $14.80; and Charter Communications was down 2 cents (4.8%) to 40 cents per share. Two cable operators managed to show gains on Thursday, albeit small ones—Mediacom Communications rose 6 cents (1.6%) to $3.75 each and Comcast was up 2 cents (0.14%) to $14.22 per share.

Satellite TV provider Dish Network rose $1 each (6.3%) to $16.97 per share, despite an unfavorable report from Collins Stewart media analyst Tom Eagan. DirecTV Group was down slightly for the day (19 cents or 1%) to finish at $19.97 per share.

Programming stocks were mixed—News Corp. gained 38 cents each (4.4%) to $9.06; Viacom was up 73 cents (3.9%) to $19.49 and Walt Disney was up 35 cents each (1.5%) to $23.40. Time Warner Inc. dipped 12 cents each (1.3%) to $9.49 per share and Scripps Networks Interactive plunged $2.21 each (8.3%) to $24.45 per share.