Newspaper Stocks Continue Unprecedented Dive

All of the major US stock indices are, unfortunately, in bear market territory.

The S&P 500 crossed into Bearland yesterday, and dropped a bit further today. The Dow did so on July 1, and remains mired in its own "grizzly" situation. The Associated Press reported on July 2 that "the Nasdaq ..... hit that (bear) mark in March, moved higher and has now returned to a bear level."

So if you're in index funds, this has not been the best of times (but, on the "bright" side, to the extent your 401(k) or other retirement investments are index funds, your current contributions are buying more shares).

Nonetheless, be thankful if you're not directly or indirectly invested in newspaper stocks.

Newsosaur reported today (HT to commenter dscott) that seven newspaper stocks hit record intraday lows in today's trading before recovering a bit before the close:

The shares of seven publicly held newspaper companies today plunged to the lowest point in modern history in perhaps the worst single trading day ever for the industry.

McClatchy (MNI), Lee Enterprises (LEE), and GateHouse Media (GHS) hit all-time lows when their shares skidded respectively to $4.85, $3.11 and $1.55 in the opening hours of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also hitting new lows today were:
- Gannett (GCI) at $17.42, the lowest point since 1990.
- Media General (MEG) at $10.34, the lowest point since 1994.
- New York Times Co. (NYT) at $13.03, the lowest point since 1996.
- News Corp. (NWS) at $14.20, the lowest point in 52 weeks.

..... the group has lost $3 billion of value since the first of this month .....

You really have to see the graph at Newsosaur to appreciate the full extent of the carnage since 2004. A few of them seem to be in a race to see which will happen first: the presidential election they're covering with such obvious bias, or their insolvency. Talk about a quagmire.

As one of the supposed "newspapers of record," and because of its self-appointed role as unofficial underminer of the Bush Administration, the New York Times deserves special mention, and display:

NYTsevenYrChart071108

From an alltime high of $53.00 on June 20, 2002, NYT stock has fallen almost 75%. It's hard to believe that there isn't a correlation between that downward spiral and the paper's ever-worsening case of Bush Derangement Syndrome in the intervening six years.

By contrast, if you are wondering about how Clear Channel stock is doing since the announcement of its $400 million deal with Rush Limbaugh, here's your answer: While the markets have sunk further since the beginning of July, Clear Channel stock was up $0.22, or 0.6%, for the week.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.