Bad reviews for biz as Street strife continues


Conventional wisdom dictates that a weak economy and high gas prices won't hurt entertainment companies — and could even help them.

Tell that to Wall Street.

On Monday, a controversial government bailout plan was debated and oil notched one of its biggest one-day price gains in history, both good excuses for the major indexes to fall hard. Not as hard, though, as The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50, which lost 4.3%, with only four of the stocks rising.

By comparison, the Dow was off 3.3%, the S&P 500 was down 3.8% and the Nasdaq closed 4.2% lower.

Leading the Showbiz 50 decliners was Blockbuster, which was crushed for 15.4% on no news. The index's biggest gainer was National CineMedia, up 6.9% on no news.

Among the conglomerates, News Corp. suffered most, down 6.8%. Viacom was off 4.7%, Time Warner 4.5% and Disney 4.3%. Sony and CBS, though, beat the averages, falling 1% and 1.9%, respectively. (partialdiff)
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