Dow Plunges 200 Points

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A last minute sell-off sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a 200-point tailspin on Monday, but cable stocks managed to keep losses in check.

The Dow ended the day down 203.18 points to 8,175.77, in a day that was characterized by wild swings in the index—the market was up triple digits earlier in the day—as fears about a global recession took hold.

Despite that volatility, cable shares remained relatively stable with no huge swings either up or down at the top MSOs. Comcast, which will kick off the cable earnings season on Wednesday, had the biggest gains, rising 55 cents each (4.2%) to $13.62. Comcast is expected to report strong third quarter results on Oct. 29 and could set the tone for cable shares for the foreseeable future.

Cablevision Systems was the only other MSO to report a gain on Monday—the stock was up 26 cents (1.9%) to $14.28 each. The remaining MSOs reported smaller decreases—Time Warner Cable was down 29 cents (1.6%) to $18.01; Charter Communications fell 3 cents (7.5%) to 37 cents per share; and Mediacom Communications was down 26 cents (8%) to $3.01 each.

Satellite TV stocks also fared better on Monday. Dish Network was down 57 cents (3.5%) each to $15.62 while DirecTV Group dipped 73 cents (3.9%) to $17.95 per share.

On the programming side, Viacom, hit by a recent sale of stock by chairman Sumner Redstone and worries about the advertising climate, fell hardest, shedding $1.63 each (8%) to $18.71. News Corp. was down 72 cents each (8.4%) to $7.88 per share; The Walt Disney Co. fell $1.24 each (5.5%) to $21.37; Scripps Networks Interactive fell $1.99 each (8.5%) to $21.41 per share; and Liberty Entertainment was down $1.55 each (9.3%) to $15.18 per share.

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