Entertainment stocks post modest gains as broader market rally Peters falls

Entertainment stocks were mostly modest gains on Friday, contributing to Thursday’s rise even as the broader stock market rally paused after disappointing consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both fell less than 1% in late morning trading after the indices posted their biggest one-day gains since 2020 on Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was in positive territory.

Thursday’s rally followed news that inflation was slowing, prompting hopes that the Federal Reserve will slow rate hikes. The S&P 500 shot up 5.5%; the Dow is up 3.7% or 1,200 points; and the Nasdaq rose 7.4%.

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Friday’s consumer confidence helped dampen market enthusiasm.

The University of Michigan said consumer sentiment fell to 54.7, down 8.7% from October and nearly 19% from a year earlier. Economists were expecting a reading of 59.5, according to a Wall Street Journal poll.

The measure has improved since June but has given up about half of its gains since last month, Joanne Hsu, the head of the survey, said in a statement, pointing to rising interest rates and persistently high prices for Americans of all demographics.

“Sentiment instability is likely to persist, reflecting uncertainty about both global factors and the eventual outcome of the election,” Hsu said. Consumers continue to expect inflation to rise by around 5.1% in the coming year, up from 5% last year.

Expectations for a recession remain high despite slow growth last quarter, but entertainment companies may feel some benefit from consumers seeking affordable forms of entertainment when times get tough.

“Compared to other out-of-home options consumers have to choose from, going to the movies remains a very affordable form of local entertainment,” said Cinemark CEO Sean Gamble last week during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “Moreover, it provides an often-needed escape from reality during challenging times.”

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Cinemark shares were flat at $11.93 in Friday trade. Rival AMC Entertainment, popular with day traders, rose 4.4% to $6.40, contributing to its 18% jump on Thursday. imax corp rose 3.8% to $14.23 after rising 6% on Thursday.

The Walt Disney Company’s shares rose 2.7% after it was announced that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever topped Marvel Studios’ original release with an opening price of $25.2 million on Thursday. Shares traded at $92.90.

Paramount Global was up 2% to $19.84, adding to Thursday’s 6.7% gain. Warner Bros Discovery, up almost 10% on Thursday, was up another 4.6% on Friday to $11.30. Sony Group was also up 2.6% to $82.61 after closing up 6.7% on Thursday. Lionsgate Entertainment rose 2.6% to $6.60.

Streaming leader Netflix rose 2.5% to $282.40, after up 8% the previous day. Amazon shares are up 2.5% to $99. Roku is up 3% to $57.16 and AMC Networks is up almost 7% to $20.60.

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