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Dow Dips After Early Rally Fades

A day after signs that efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve were beginning to pay off drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 1,600 points, the market ended in slightly negative territory on April 7. But cable stocks, which have been just as volatile as the rest of the market, managed to show signs of growth.

The Dow closed on April 7 down about 26 points, erasing a 930-point surge early in the day. The day before, the index closed up 1,627 points on hopes that efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus were working. 

Those positive signs continued. In New York, one of the hardest hit areas in the U.S., there were indications that hospitalization and death rates were beginning to stabilize. And China had its first day since January with no deaths from COVID-19. But legislators warned that the positive signs meant that efforts to stem the spread of the virus, like sheltering in place, must continue. And there were no signs that would change anytime soon. 

Although some investors were still encouraged by the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package, others worried about a looming recession, and how long it would last.

Cable stocks, which have generally followed the market through its ups and downs over the past several weeks, were mostly up on Tuesday.

With the exception of programmers ViacomCBS and Discovery -- which were up 5.4% and 5.2% respectively -- the gains were modest.

Cable One led distributors with a 2.6% gain ($42.14 each) for the day to $1,688.30 per share, followed by Comcast, which was up 2% (71 cents) to $36.94 each, and Altice USA, up 1% (24 cents) to $23.44 per share. Charter Communications was down 1.7% ($7.80 each) for the day to $451.75 per share.

Telco stocks fared about as well. AT&T was up 2.2% (64 cents) to $30.08 after announcing a $5.5 billion loan deal to help with its liquidity. Verizon Communications was essentially flat, up 0.5% (28 cents) to $56.94 per share, and Dish Network was down 1.6% (34 cents) to $20.77 each.

Related: AT&T to See More Cord Cutting Amid COVID-19 Recession: Analyst 

On the programming side, ViacomCBS and Discovery led the gainers, and were followed by AMC Networks, up 3.1% (70 cents) to $23.35; and WWE, up 2.4% (85 cents) to $35.95. Disney and Fox were each up 1.7% for the day, closing at $101.24 and $25.49 per share, respectively.