Showbiz Shares, Broader Market Hold Gains For Session Even As Chaos, Dismay Erupt In Washington, D.C.

Jill Goldsmith
·4 min read

UPDATED AT CLOSE: Media and entertainment shares and the broad market rose sharply Wednesday in a show of optimism that contrasted starkly with one of the grimmest days in recent U.S. history as supporters of President Trump occupied the Capitol in hours of chaos that started late morning and were still ongoing when trading closed for the day.

Politicians forced to evacuate and all manner of current and former law enforcement officials, cabinet members and others weighed in with shock and dismay even as stocks surged. Some business groups and leaders weighed Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase tweeted, “I strongly condemn the violence in our nation’s capital. This is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this. Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end.”

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Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said, “For years, our democracy has built a reservoir of goodwill around the world that brings important benefits for our citizens,” Solomon said in a statement. “Recently, we have squandered that goodwill at a rapid pace, and today’s attack on the U.S. Capitol does further damage. It’s time for all Americans to come together and move forward with a peaceful transition of power. ”

The Business Roundtable, a group made of CEOs of leading corporations, called for “an end to the chaos and facilitate the peaceful transition of power.”

“The chaos unfolding in the nation’s capital is the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election,” the organization said in a tweet.

And trade group the National Association of Manufacturers said “Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hit intraday highs as the Democrats swept the Georgia runoffs and investors poured into showbiz, infrastructure, banks and other sectors. Only the tech-heavy Nasdaq wavered, falling sharply early the session and closing off 0.61%.

Apple fell 1.5%, Facebook down 1.6% and Amazon lower by 0.8% in late-morning trade. Netflix was pulled down too, with shares off 2%. Market watchers cited jitter that the Dems might boost scrutiny of the sector, but also noted that these big growth stocks are high priced, having surged in a 2020 dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday was a chance for others to shine with the DJIA — up more than 500 points, or 1.7% — the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 all higher with media stocks rising across the board from entertainment to broadcasters to cinema chains. They joined a rally in shares that could benefit from increased stimulus and spending under a Democratic Senate. Raphael Warnock, who ousted Kelly Loeffler, and Jon Ossoff, who is leading John Perdue although that race hasn’t been called yet, made the $2,000 stimulus check blocked by a Mitch McConnell-led senate a centerpiece of their campaign.

Georgia Senate Runoffs: Jon Ossoff Thanks Voters For Projected Win; Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi And Hillary Clinton Declare Victory In Democratic Control Of Congress —

The DJIA is comprises 30 stocks meant to serve as a bellwether for the general U.S. stock market, including Disney and Apple. The S&P 500 is an index of the 500 largest companies in the U.S. The Russell 2000 is a small-cap index.

Discovery, which launched a new DTC streaming platform Monday, surged more than 5%. ViacomCBS, Lionsgate and AMC Networks were up more than 4%. Disney continued to rise, up 1%.

Broadcasters also rallied led by Tenga, which provided an upbeat preview of fourth-quarter financials Wednesday morning showing record political advertising. Its shares were up nearly 6%, followed by gains at Sinclair and Nexstar.

Movie theater stocks, laggards last year with moviegoing crippled, were all trading higher from Imax to Cinemark to challenged AMC Entertainment. CEO Adam Aron told CNBC yesterday that the company is trying to power its way through the pandemic and had raised $200 million in late December towards the $750 million it needs to get to the other side.

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