The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points Wednesday in the wake of President Barack Obama’s re-election and amid concerns for the U.S. economy and the European debt crisis.
President Obama handily won a second term on Tuesday, but the rift between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-held House of Representatives remained, leaving some investors to wonder if the partisan stalemates of the past four years would continue. Fears over the so-called fiscal cliff – scheduled tax breaks and spending cuts that take effect on Jan. 1 unless Congress can reach a compromise to avert the policy changes – and mounting concerns over European debt also sent investors toward the exits.
The Dow closed at 12,932.73 on Wednesday, down 312.95 points in its largest one-day decline since Nov. 9, 2011.
Nary a sector was spared – hardest hit were financial and energy stocks, which saw double-digit declines during the day.
For their part, cable stocks endured some downward pressure but held their declines to single-digit levels.
On the MSO side, Cablevision led the decliners, down 3.3% (53 cents per share) to $14.98 each on Wednesday, followed closely by Charter Communications, off 3% ($2.15 each) to $69.47 per share. Comcast finished the day with a 1.6% decline (59 cents per share) to close at $36.58 each, while Time Warner Cable dipped 1% (92 cents) to $93.25 per share.
Satellite stocks also felt the pain, with Dish Network decreasing 2.5% (89 cents) to $35.11 and DirecTV down 2% ($1.02 per share) to $49.49 each.
AT&T fell 3.3% ($1,16) on Wednesday to $33.64 each, mainly on its announcement that it would increase capex by $14 billion over the next three years to expand its U-Verse footprint. Verizon Communications was down by 2.5%($1.11) to finish the day at $43.19 per share.
Programmer stocks were the bright spot of the sector, with Time Warner Inc. and News Corp., actually gaining ground. Time Warner Inc., rose 4.2% ($1.80) to $44.91 after a favorable earnings report and News Corp. increased 1.6% (39 cents) to $24.98 each, mostly on speculation on what the company may do with its $12 billion cash hoard in the future.
Rounding out the sector, Discovery Communications fell 1.2% (67 cents) to $56.79; Walt Disney Co., was down 0.8% (39 cents) to $50.08; and Scripps Networks Interactive dipped 0.6% (36 cents) to $ $59.71; and Viacom also shed 0.6% (31 cents) to $50.84 per share.