Stocks Ended Lower; Media Stocks Clobbered

U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday as media company stocks took a big hit and investors cautiously awaited Friday’s jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 120.72 points, or 0.69%, to 17,419.75. The S&P 500 shed 16.28 points, or 0.78%, to 2,083.56. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 83.50 points, or 1.62%, to 5,056.44.

Viacom Inc. said profit slipped in its latest quarter, as U.S. advertising revenue took a hit amid shifting viewership habits that have blunted the youth-leaning media company’s bottom line. Profit in the quarter fell to $591 million, or $1.47 a share, from $610 million, or $1.40, a year ago. Revenue declined 11% to 3.06 billion.

The Walt Disney Co. shares were down as much as 9% on Wednesday and were poised to suffer their biggest-ever one-day price drop after the company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings after Tuesday’s close.

Shares of Time Warner Inc. (TWX) which owns the HBO network, were down about 5% at a nine-month low, extending a 9% loss suffered Wednesday. The company told analysts on a conference call that its recently launched standalone streaming service, HBO Now, will likely generate losses for the remainder of the year.

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