With the broader market and tech in particular taking a beating today, our ContentNext Media Index (“ContentNextDex”), a collection of the top 100 content and related companies we follow, declined in suit. After being down more than 2.5 percent mid-session, the index came back to finish down 1.4 percent, with big internet names and red-hot Chinese net stocks inflicting much of the damage. Note the decline was narrower than the NASDAQ’s 1.92 percent loss. (The difference may be due to the 9.53 percent decline in Cisco, (NSDQ: CSCO) whose $180 billion market cap weighs heavily on the index, but is not in the ContentNextDex.) Overall, the index is still up 7.8 percent, since it was first launched Sept. 10. You can take your pick from various reasons why the whole market came down today: credit markets, profit taking, oil prices, interest rates, turmoil in Pakistan, or Ben Bernanke’s comments about a slowing economy. That said, all of those things have been with us for a while now, even during most of the run-up. If the market turns up tomorrow, it won’t be because those issues went away.
— Chinese internet names got hit with the double whammy of today’s overall market losses and last night’s Asian market weakness. Among the losers: Baidu.com (NSDQ: BIDU) (9.40 percent), Sina.com (8.61 percent), Sohu (NSDQ: SOHU) (9.31 percent), Netease (NSDQ: NTES) (12.88 percent) and Shanda (NSDQ: SNDA) (4.40 percent).
— Blue chip tech and internet names also saw big declines: Google (NSDQ: GOOG) (5.33 percent), Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) (5.82 percent), Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) (2.20 percent) and eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) (3.60 percent).
— Non-tech names in the index fared better, which might prompt some talk of possible “sector rotation”. The New York Times, (NYSE: NYT) News Corp., (NYSE: NWS) CBS, (NYSE: CBS) Viacom (NYSE: VIA) and Disney (NYSE: DIS) were all up, while Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) sustained minimal damage. Newspaper stocks had a good day too. Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) was the day’s biggest winner, gaining almost 17 percent after reporting earnings.