Wall Street (Courtesy of AP)
Media shares rode the rising tide of equities markets on Thursday as the Dow and other key indices soared despite the uncertainty over the outcome of the presidential election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 600 points in the first hour of trading, or a 2% spike. The Nasdaq gained more than 250 points while the S&P 500 climbed more than 70 points. The Dow ended the day up 542.58 points, or 2%, to 28,390.24. Nasdaq was a buoyant 300.15 points up, or 2.6%, to 11,890.93. S&P settled at the close of trading to 67.01, or 2%, to 3,510.45.
Among media stocks, the big gainers included Nexstar, which reported solid third-quarter earnings before the market opened that assuaged investor fears about the possible collapse of local TV advertising revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic. Nexstar shares were up more than 7% in the first hour of trading. The nation’s largest broadcaster was up 5.47% to $85.69 at the close.
Discovery also enjoyed a bounce after opening the day with Q3 earnings that beat some Wall Street expectations. CEO David Zaslav also teased Discovery’s plan to unveil next month the launch of a streaming service that aggregates content from its many lifestyle brands, including Discovery, TLC, Food Network, HGTV, Investigation Discovery and more. Discovery shares were up 4.3% for the day, closing at $21.43 range.
Netflix harvested a 3.4% gain to close at $513.76 range. Disney gained 1.5% to hit $126.90. Comcast also perked up 2% to the $44.60 range. ViacomCBS, which reports earnings on Friday, saw a 5.1% increase taking the stock to $31.29.
The increases for Big Media and other blue-chip corporate shares come as the nation awaits the results of vote counts in states where the electoral margins between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are razor-thin, including Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
While Biden has urged the democratic process to continue by counting all of the votes, Trump has continued his “STOP THE COUNT!” tweets Thursday morning, capped off by confirmation that he will not take a loss lightly: “All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof – just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!”
Variety's Cynthia Littleton contributed to this post.