Media Stocks React to SAG-AFTRA Tentative Deal

Hollywood actors struck a more than $1 billion deal with major studios

Digital Content Manager
Nov 9, 2023 at 10:40 AM
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Hollywood actors yesterday struck a tentative three-year contract worth more than $1 billion with major studios, which will increase minimum salaries. The deal also includes new bonuses to be paid out by streaming services and is set to bring the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' (SAG-AFTRA) 118-day strike to an end.

In response, the shares of Warner Bros Discovery Inc (NASDAQ:WBD)Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA), and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) are all higher this morning. Disney, of course, is also getting a boost from its better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report, amid theme park strength and CEO Bob Iger's cost-cutting measures.

DIS is leading the bunch, last seen up 6.1% to trade at $89.73 -- its highest level since August. The shares are also on track for their third-straight daily gain, and best bull gap in almost one year. Today's surge has also helped the stock swing to the positive side of its year-to-date breakeven level.

PARA was last seen up 1.4% at $11.99, but still carries a 27.1% year-to-date deficit. Despite a single close above it earlier this month -- when the shares staged a short-lived rally -- its 80-day moving average has been acting as pressure since a steep bear gap in May.

WBD is up a far more modest 0.2% at $9.42 at last check, after its own 80-day moving average turned down last week's rally. The security slipped to a 2023 low of $9.38 just yesterday, but still sports a slim year-to-date lead.

Options traders are eyeing the streaming names in response. Options volume is running at nine times the intraday average amount for DIS, with calls winning out. Meanwhile, WBD has seen double the amount of calls cross the tape already. Most popular for DIS is the 11/10 90-strike call, and for WBD it's the 12/01 8.50-strike put.


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