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Time Warner Stock Gains; Comcast Falls Following NBCU News

Time Warner was a big winner in the stock market today, gaining 4.34% to close above $30 on a day when both media stocks at large and the market as a whole reported a drop. The rise is largely attributed to investor relief that the content company will not take part in the bidding for NBC Universal.

Rumors had circulated that Time Warner might be interested in a get together with NBC Universal which is now in play. Time Warner senior management has been at pains to play down any interest in transformational acquisitions or major deals.

While executives at General Electric and Comcast declined to discuss the matter, sources close to talks are suggesting that there are plans to create a joint venture company that would merge NBC Universal with the cable systems operators’ programming assets which include E! Entertainment. News of that prospective get together did nothing to lift Comcast stock. Shares fell 7% ending the Oct. 1 session at $15.67.

Time Warner shares closed at $30.03, up from the previous day’s close of $28.78 as investors showed interest in the company, which is rapidly looking like a pure play content company. Elsewhere, News Corp. was down 5% to $13.29; CBS Corp. was down 4% to $11.57; Viacom dropped 2% to $27.31 while Disney fell 0.3% to $27.36.

Across the broader market, the Dow was down 2.9%, Nasdaq was down 3.06% and the S&P down 2.58%.