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Media Stocks on Upswing as Dow Tops 17,000 for First Time

Major media congloms rode the enthusiasm on Wall Street Thursday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 17,000 for the first time, propelled by a better-than-expected jobs report for June.

As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day on Friday, there were financial fireworks as the Dow passed the 17,000 benchmark less than an hour into trading Thursday after opening at 16,979. The latest report on employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reinforced the country’s improving economic climate, with the unemployment rate dipping to 6.1%.

At the close of a holiday-shortened trading day, the Dow was up 92 points, or .54%, to 17, 086.26. The Dow had been hitting record highs all week, continuing a growth spurt that began in 2012 and really took off last fall.

Disney has been one of the Dow’s biggest drivers, closing Thursday at $86.84, up 40 cents. Mouse House shares have gained 13.57% so far this year.

The White House said that the 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of the year marks the largest gain in the comparable time period since 1999. Job growth has exceeded 200,000 a month for the past five months, the longest such streak since September 1999-January 2000, according to the Obama administration.

All of this was good news for blue-chip stocks, and media congloms were no exception. In addition to the Mouse, Time Warner, Viacom, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, CBS Corp., Discovery Communications, Starz, DirecTV and other industry heavyweights all registered gains, continuing the general strength in the entertainment sector this year.

 

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