Dow Soars 300 Points

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Cable stocks rose strongly for the second day in a row, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared by more than 300 points and practically every sector showed gains.

The Dow finished the day up 305.45 points to close at 9,625.28, a 3.3% gain. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, it was the biggest gain ever on a presidential election day. The previous high mark was the 1.2% gain the market enjoyed in 1984, when President Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory over Walter Mondale.

Cable stocks were up for the most part – only Mediacom Communications was down for the day (25 cents per share or 5.3% to $4.50 per share).

Leading the way for cable operators was Comcast – up 68 cents each (4%) to $17.77 per share – and Time Warner Cable. TWC, which is scheduled to report its third quarter earnings results tomorrow morning – was up 60 cents each (3%) to $20.56 per share. Rounding out the sector was Charter Communications, up 4 cents each (8.7%) to 50 cents per share; and Cablevision Systems, up 58 cents (3.3%) to $18.28 per share. Both Charter and Cablevision are scheduled to report their third quarter earnings on Thursday.

It was the second day in a row that cable operators stocks showed increases, and the second consecutive day that Comcast led the sector. On Monday, Comcast shares were up more than 8% ($1.33 each) to $17.09 per share, while the overall market dipped slightly.

Satellite TV stocks were up modestly, with Dish Network rising 58 cents (3.7%) to $16.28 per share and DirecTV Group up 37 cents (1.7%) to $22.49 per share.

On the programming side, Viacom, which reported mixed third quarter results Monday afternoon, rose 7.5% ($1.57 per share) to $22.65, mainly on comments by chairman Sumner Redstone that his National Amusements Inc. (NAI) would not sell any more of his Viacom or CBS holdings. Redstone also hinted on a Monday conference call with analysts that NAI’s substantial real estate holdings could be used to satisfy any further capital needs at the theater operator.

Rounding out that sector, News Corp was up 25 cents (2.3%) to $10.99 and Time Warner Inc., also scheduled to report earnings Wednesday, rose 8.5% (85 cents each) to $10.83 per share.      

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