Sluggish market braces for bigger plunge today

Media and entertainment stocks have been sluggish for months, but things could well take a turn for the worse today.

Bearish signs were everywhere Monday despite U.S. markets being closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Major plunges in markets in Europe and Asia suggested a boomerang hit Stateside today. Stock index futures pointed to a grim start to the week, possibly a loss of 400 points or more for the Dow.

One mark being watched closely is 20%. With a particularly rough session, the market could register a 20% pullback from its peak in October, which would statistically qualify this as a bear market. The current bull market began in 2002.

The impact on media congloms was difficult to predict Monday. On Friday, the end of a brutal week, results were mixed as some bargain hunters swooped in, as is typical in such a climate.

Time Warner, Disney and News Corp. are all trading near 52-week lows. Viacom, Sony and General Electric are faring slightly better, but all have lost significant ground since 2008 began.

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