Sinking feeling for stocks

Media slides amid overall sell-off

Concerns that credit market woes will make the financing of buyouts more expensive — slowing down consolidation — and hurt earnings dragged down major stock indices worldwide Thursday and pushed many media and entertainment stocks lower.

In the U.S., further signs of trouble in the housing market also contributed to the broad declines. For example, a U.S. government report Thursday showed a bigger-than-projected decline in new home sales in June, while home builders Beazer Homes and D.R. Horton unveiled losses for their latest quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the trading session 2.3% lower at 13,473.57 points. The broad-based S&P 500 also fell 2.3% to 1,482.66 points. The Nasdaq dropped 1.8% to 2,599.34 points as technology stocks held up slightly better.

The Hollywood Reporter's Showbiz 50 stock index closed down 1.1% at $1,236.21. While Netflix Inc., Apple Inc. and Blockbuster Inc. were its biggest gainers, most stocks on the index fell, with Hearst-Argyle Television, Young Broadcasting and Movie Gallery the biggest decliners.

Shares of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. were the biggest decliners among big media and entertainment names.

In Japan, the Nikkei index lost 0.88% to finish Thursday's session at its lowest close in nearly two months, according to Reuters. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 stock index declined 2.6%.