Newspaper shares: Up, down and round the houses

Stock markets are going up and down faster than a whore’s drawers. (Apologies, it’s an old markets expression.)

A week ago, like others before me, I argued in the pages of Press Gazette that maybe — just maybe — the markets might want to reassess the charms of newspaper stocks.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones soared by 330 points. Similar occurred in London and across Europe as the Federal Reserve hinted at the prospect of cheap money. It qualified as transparent tarting. Naturally, investors — showing their fundamental lack of confidence — loved it.

But shares in US newspapers didn’t participate in Wall Street’s brittle joy. The New York Times Co. declined 1%. Others flatlined.

In London, the FTSE 100 rose by 2.7%. Not so the major newspaper shares. Trinity Mirror (TNI) moved up by 0.15%. Johnston Press was down 0.93%. DMGT rose by 1.7%. Overall, not too different from the US scenario.

To some extent, this suggests that investors still view newspapers as a species apart — decoupled from the broader market and facing unique challenges.

Admittedly, the news was better today, as Goldman Sachs upgraded Johnston Press from neutral to buy. The investment bank also rated Trinity and DMGT a buy.

Erratic? You said it.

Meanwhile, of course, the better half of most investors’ brains is waiting for something big to happen. Yes, something like Black Monday.

The Times
CNN Money

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