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Why These Media Stocks Jumped on Friday

By Daniel Sparks - Mar 14, 2020 at 2:53PM

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Despite their sharp gains, these stocks are still much lower than they were a few weeks ago.

Few stocks were spared in a brutal sell-off this week. Fortunately, however, few stocks also missed out on Friday's massive one-day gain.

The S&P 500 surged 9.2% -- the market's biggest one-day gain since October 2008. The market's rebound was fueled by many sectors, as investors seemed encouraged by President Donald Trump's plan for the U.S. to take more concerted action to suppress the coronavirus outbreak. Much of the index's gain occurred following his address to the nation, in which he declared the coronavirus a national emergency and laid out some plans to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Media stocks were among the sectors that rebounded sharply on Friday. Movie studio business Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF-A -3.22%) (LGF-B -3.47%), cable network AMC Networks (AMCX -0.82%), and streaming TV giant Netflix (NFLX -5.04%) were some notable media stocks that saw their stocks jump.

A group of young people watching TV together

Image source: Getty Images.

Here's a look at their gains.

Stock

Intraday High

Change by Market Close

Lions Gate Entertainment

15.1%

14.6%

AMC Networks

10.5%

10.2%

Netflix

6.7%

6.7%

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Shares are still down significantly from recent highs

Of course, investors should keep in mind that even though stocks jumped sharply on Friday, they are still down significantly compared to where they were in February, and even compared to the beginning of the week. Since Feb. 19, the S&P 500 is down 20% -- and that's including Monday's sharp rise. Further, the index is down 9% in the past week alone.

The market's pullback, which has officially put stocks in bear market territory, reflects concerns about how businesses will be affected by changing consumer habits and by the efforts around the world to curb the coronavirus.

A possible buying opportunity

Many companies will undoubtedly be negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Lions Gate, for instance, is facing particularly difficult challenges, as some movie theaters are limiting attendance to improve social distancing, and some are even considering temporary closures. Further, some studios are even delaying the release of new films. Movie studio businesses like Lions Gate are highly reliant on ticket sales and theater releases to create buzz for their latest films.

But investors may be overreacting to temporary headwinds. Lions Gate stock, for instance, is down 49% since Feb. 19. Netflix and AMC Networks have seen smaller losses, declining 13% and 25%, respectively. Of course, Netflix and AMC Networks are unlikely to be as negatively affected as Lions Gate. Indeed, some have argued that Netflix may actually benefit from more people staying at home.

If the coronavirus proves to only be a temporary setback, these stocks' decline could look like a great buying opportunity in retrospect. Of course, investors should keep an eye on the coronavirus outbreak to see how it develops. It remains unclear how long it will take the U.S. and other countries around the world to suppress it.

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Stocks Mentioned

Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
NFLX
$179.60 (-5.04%) $-9.54
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Stock Quote
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
LGF-A
$9.33 (-3.22%) $0.31
AMC Networks Inc. Stock Quote
AMC Networks Inc.
AMCX
$30.31 (-0.82%) $0.25
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Stock Quote
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
LGF-B
$8.89 (-3.47%) $0.32

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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