This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
The Dow, with its first sub-8,000 close in five years, wasn't the only index with a record-you-don't-want day: the ContentNextDex, our own index of media, tech, mobile and entertainment stocks, dropped nearly 6 percent to 507.32the lowest close since we launched it officially in September 2007. Compared with the year's high of 1,076.02, that's a staggering 47.68 percent loss year to date. The ContentNextDex performance hovered between the Dow's 5 percent drop to 7,997 and the S&P 500's loss of 6.12 percent.
ContentNexDex is a flood of red with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) snugly in the top five losers thanks to Steve Ballmer's most recent public repudiation, down 20.8 percent to $9.14. Media General (NYSE: MEG) lost nearly 30 percent of what was left of its value, closing at $2.96. Fellow newspaper publisher McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) wasn't far behind, down nearly 22 percent to $1.51. Together, the combined market cap doesn't come close to $200 million$152.8 million to be exact. Sirius XM (NSDQ: SIRI) Radio is close to non-existence at 16 cents per share with a market cap of $515 million. In all, 30 stocksjust under one third of ContentNextDexclosed with double-digit losses.
How did some other big names fare? Google (NSDQ: GOOG) dropped 5.8 percent to $280; Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) and Sprint (NYSE: S) each lost about 13 percent, closing at $5.80 and $1.88 respectively; New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT), down 10.3 percent to $6.35 (those dividends are looking even iffier); and News Corp (NYSE: NWS) dropped 4.8 percent to $6.55. Among the market cap leaders, NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) parent GE fared the worst with a 10 percent loss, closing at $14.45 while Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) lost a mere 6.7 percent, closing at $18.29. For the gainers, the only one with volume really worth noting was DivX (NSDQ: DIVX), which sued Yahoo earlier this week. It finished the day at $4.39, up nearly 2 percent (but it's down nearly 21 percent for the week).
As for tomorrow, channel Bette Davis and fasten your seat belts for a bumpy ride.
Media General and NYTCo smacked by Harbinger as well: AP does a good job of explaining how some complicated actions by hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners to limit its interests in NYTCo and Media General helped push those stocks to their lowest levels in decades during today's trading. Harbinger invested and agitated its way onto the boards of the two newspaper publishers earlier this year.
By Staci D. Kramer