Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell as much as 6.3% on Friday, recovering to a slimmer 5.3% loss as of 2:40 p.m. EST. On a day where the major market indices are heading lower in unison, it's not unusual to see growth stocks like the streaming-video specialist taking a deeper dive.
Apart from that, the closest thing to a real catalyst for this move would be Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) reporting earnings on Thursday night and using that platform to share more details about that company's planned video-streaming service.
Now we know that the House of Mouse will call its new streaming service Disney+, planning a launch in the second half of 2019. The service will hold exclusive streaming rights to "a rich array of original Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content," along with a fresh slate of entirely original shows and movies.
Details still are skimpy, but investors will get a richer preview of the new platform at Disney's investor conference in April. Meanwhile, Disney will support the Hulu service with a richer content portfolio, temporarily picking up the baton that Netflix must drop at the end of 2018.
To be clear, Disney didn't add much more to its Disney+ prospects today than a proper name and a loose target period for the new service's launch. The rest was either already known or downright obvious.
But investors get nervous on days like this, where Wall Street is awash in red ink and richly valued stocks had better step gingerly. A weak market without the Disney+ announcement would not have been so bad for Netflix's share price, and the other way around also would have been a mere blip on the market radar. But taken together, the two events sliced more than $6 billion off Netflix's market cap today.
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