Showbiz, Tech Shares Sink As COVID Jitters Slam Market; Big Week For Earnings

Showbiz, Tech Shares Sink As COVID Jitters Slam Market; Big Week For Earnings

A broad market plunge dragged showbiz shares lower Monday from big media to broadcasters, exhibition, social media and streaming. Investors are fretting about a U.S. spike in coronavirus infections and new lockdowns across Europe that threaten economic growth.

A stimulus agreement could help but remains elusive, ratcheting up uncertainty – the thing markets hate most. It’s not clear if, even post-election, pandemic aid or contested elections will dominate conversation in Washington, D.C. So airlines and cruise lines were pummeled and investor sentiment turned sharply lower late morning, sparking a widespread decline.

The DJIA was down more than 800 points, or almost 3% in early afternoon trading. The S&P 500 was off 2.47% and the Nasdaq was 2.31%.

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Easy targets like movie chains AMC Entertainment and Cinemark has lost, respectively, 8% and 9%. Walt Disney was off 3.4% and Comcast 2.5%. Broadcasters Sinclair and Tegna had slipped by 4%. Lionsgate was down by 5.4%, Discovery by 3.6% and AMC Networks by 2.3%.

Netflix drooped 1.5%. Snap, whose stock skyrocketed after a stellar earnings report last week, dipped 3.7%.

Big tech also slid lower. Facebook, Twitter and Google parent Alphabet were all down around 3%. Amazon less, about 0.55%. CEOs of Twitter, Alphabet and Facebook are scheduled to appear before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Wednesday to be grilled on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a decades-old regulation that’s protected internet companies from liability over content on their platforms. Those three, plus Amazon, all report quarterly earnings the next day, Thursday, after the market closes.

Imax (down 2.6%) and Comcast also report earnings Thursday.

Shares of Hasbro, which has a foot in entertainment, through eOne, fell 10% despite reporting quarterly financials that beat expectations. The comapny didn’t show broad-based growth and investors are anxious about the impact of the pandemic on its business going forward.