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Dow Surges, MSOs Swoon

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, cheered by an apparent resolution to the ongoing European debt crisis, soared more than 330 points Thursday. But that goodwill did not trickle down to cable operator stocks, which reeled in the wake of mixed third quarter results at Time Warner Cable.

The Dow finished the day at 12,208.55, up 339.5 points. For MSOs, it was a rough day, characterized by Time Warner Cable, which shed 7.7% ($5.46 per share) to close at $65.17 after reporting weaker than expected results. That performance spread to other MSO which are expected to report their quarterly results in the coming weeks, although to a lesser extent. Charter Communications was down 1.3% (64 cents) to $49.58; Cablevision Systems was down 1.1% (20 cents) to $17.31; and Comcast dipped 1% (21 cents) to $24.59 per share.

The reaction to satellite stocks was mixed, with DirecTV posting a small gain -- 0.04% (2 cents) to $47.34 -- and Dish Network declining by 2.1% (54 cents) to $25.44 each.

Programmers fared much better, led by News Corp., up 5.4% (92 cents) to $18.09; Scripps Networks, up 4.6% ($1.92) to $44.12; Liberty Starz, up 4% ($2.69) to $69.85; the Walt Disney Co. up 3.5% ($1.23) to $36.26; and Time Warner Inc., up 3.4% ($1.16) to $35.80.

Rounding out the sector, Viacom was up 2.4% ($1.30) to $54.50, followed by Discovery Communications, up 2.4% ($1.02) to $43.07; Liberty Interactive, up 2.2% (36 cents) to $16.47; AMC Networks, up 2% (65 cents) to $34; and Liberty Capital, up 1.7% ($1.31) to $78.43.