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Viacom Stock Takes Hit Amid DirecTV Battle

Viacom shares took a 5% hit Wednesday, a day after the company went public with its brewing battle over a new carriage agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV.

Most traditional media stocks were down on a day when the Dow teetered between being slightly up and slightly down before closing down 141 points, a half-percent decline. Netflix saw a 5% gain, and other tech shares were generally up. Traditional media shares may have been dragged down by the sheer level of turmoil and transition at present among the largest firms.

The stock of the newly minted Fox Corp. was down for the second day in a row, falling 4.2% to close at $38.62. Fox shares opened on the first day of trading in its new configuration on Tuesday in the $40 range.

Viacom shares fell 5.5% to close Wednesday at $26.01, which marked the company’s lowest ebb since December. On Tuesday afternoon, Viacom began warning viewers that its channels may go dark as of Friday night on DirecTV as the existing carriage deal expires. The company also issued an aggressive statement accusing AT&T of price gouging consumers and favoring its own channels in distribution agreements.

AT&T shares were down half a percent to close at $30.51.

CBS, which closed at $46.16, and Discovery ($26.69) saw 2% declines. Comcast was down less than 1% to $39.47.

Netflix was buoyant, climbing 4.6% to $375.22. Apple gained about 1% to $188.16. Amazon upticked 2% to $1,797.27.

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