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Stocks Rise as COVID-19 Spread Seems to Slow

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 1,600 points Monday, after some data showed the number of COVID-19 cases in parts of the U.S. and Europe were beginning to slow, a sign that perhaps lockdowns in those areas are working.

In the U.S., the death toll in New York City, one of the areas hardest hit, remained fairly steady at just under 600 for two straight days, even as the number of coronavirus cases continued to rise, according to the New York Times. In Italy and Spain, the number of COVID-19 patients is still increasing but the rate of new infections is no longer rising. 

That news appeared to lure investors back to the market. The Dow closed up 1,627 points, with all 30 stocks in the index showing gains. For cable stocks, the increases ranged from a 2.8% rise for WWE, to a 12.3% increase for Fox Corp.

The increases were across the board, but cable stocks still have a long way to go before they regain the increases they handed back to the market this year, as the COVID-19 outbreak drove down the Dow more than 20%.

On the distribution side, Cable One led the charge, rising 7.2% ($109.78 each) to $1,646.16 per share, followed by Comcast (up 6.8%), Charter (up 6%) and Altice USA (up 5.9%).

Dish Network led satellite and telco stocks on Monday, closing at $21.10 each, up 11.2%; while AT&T was up 7.2% and Verizon increased 3.7%.

Programmers were led by Fox Corp., which rose 12.3% ($2.75 per share) to $25.05, with ViacomCBS running a close second, up 12.2% ($1.51 each) to $13.94 per share. Rounding out the sector, AMC Networks closed at $22.65 each, up 10.1%; Discovery was up 7% to $19.64, The Walt Disney Co., gained 6.1% to $99.58 and WWE closed at $35.08, up 2.8%.

Even with Monday’s gains, distribution stocks (minus Cable One) were down 5.8%; and programming companies were down 40%. Telco and satellite stocks were still down a collective 21% for the year.