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Cable Bear Awakens

The cable bear awoke from a two-day nap on Tuesday, stirred by an overall market malaise that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 250 points after the Chinese government decided to devalue its currency.

China’s decision to devalue the Yuan jolted most of the market – financial stocks, and metals and mining were hit the hardest, but few stocks were spared in the slide. On the media side, stocks that had begun to claw their way back after a more than 10% decline last week lost a good portion of that ground.

The Dow closed at 17,402.84, down 212.33 points, erasing most of the gains of Friday, when the index closed at 17,615.17, up almost 242 points. Friday was the first positive day for the index since July 29, while it closed at 17,751.39, up 121 points.

For cable stocks, it meant a day of declines, led by Cablevision Systems, which dropped 3.8% ($1 per share) to $25.44 each. Cable operators for the most part were down between 1% and 2%, with Charter Communications down 2% ($3.49 each) to $181.33, Comcast down 1.1% (66 cents) to $58.79, Time Warner Cable down 1.3% ($2.48) to $186.85 and Cable One down 0.6% ($2.76) to $427.54 each.

Programmers were hit harder, with Disney giving back its gains of the past two days and then some, ending the day at $108 per share, down 2.7% ($3 each). Time Warner Inc. also gave back most of its increases in the past two days, closing at $79.77, down 2.9% ($2.39 each). Other stocks that dipped below their Aug. 5 and Aug, 6 declines included AMC Networks, down 3.2% ($2.46 each) to $74.18; Discovery Communications, down 2.7% (81 cents) to $28.74 per share.

Viacom dipped 2.2% ($1.02 each) to $46, but managed to keep its head above its Aug, 6 level of $44.10 per share,