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Dow Stays Flat; Cable Rises

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat on Monday, falling just 5.18 points, but cable stocks rose strongly, as investors appeared to hold back from making aggressive moves on the eve of the presidential election.

The Dow closed at 9,319.83 on Monday, down just 5.18 points, despite dismal monthly sales figures from the auto industry.

Leading the pack was Comcast, up more than 8% ($1.33 each) to $17.09 per share. The rest of the sector ad more modest gains—Time Warner Cable rose 38 cents each (1.9%) to $19.96 per share; Charter Communications was up 2 cents each (4.6%) to 46 cents per share; and Mediacom Communications rose 31 cents each (7%) to $4.75 per share. Only one operator was down for the day—Cablevision Systems—but that was a small decline, 3 cents each (0.2%) to $17.70 per share.

Satellite stocks had a similar day—Dish Network was down 4 cents per share (0.25%) to $15.70 and DirecTV Group rose 23 cents (1.1%) to $22.12 per share.

On the programming side, News Corp., rose 12 cents (1.1%) to $10.74 per share and Viacom fell 37 cents each (1.7%) to $21.08. The Walt Disney Co. was hit hardest, falling more than 3% (87 cents per share) to $25.04, after Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen cut her price target on the stock due to macroeconomic concerns.