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Atlanta Braves Sputter in Stock Market Amid a March Toward World Series

Atlanta Braves Sputter in Stock Market Amid a March Toward World Series

(Bloomberg) — The Atlanta Braves are on a big winning streak. But the company that owns the team isn’t faring as well in the stock market as the baseball club is on the field.

With the global pandemic necessitating a shortened baseball season that saw fans outlawed from attending games in person, shares of Liberty Media Corp.’s baseball assets, commonly known as Liberty Braves, remain about 27% lower than their pre-pandemic high. Second-quarter revenue fell by 95% due to the loss of games and the restriction on fans.

Still a group of investors, spurred on by the recent sale of the New York Mets and the spread of legalized sports gambling, see the potential for a windfall profit.



Liberty Braves shares have yet to recover from pandemic plummet


© Bloomberg
Liberty Braves shares have yet to recover from pandemic plummet

Investors like Hawk Ridge Capital Management and Shapiro Capital Management were lapping up shares even while the fate of the baseball season was still up in the air.

“We don’t think there’s any permanent impairment to the value of sports franchises,” said Hawk Ridge founder David Brown. “That view is bolstered by the recent transaction with the Mets and the Red Sox rumor.”

The Mets are set to be sold to hedge fund titan Steve Cohen in a deal that values the franchise at a record $2.42 billion. Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, is reported to be in talks with RedBall Acquisition Corp. to go public through a merger that would value its holdings, which also include Liverpool Football Club, at a valuation of $8 billion, including debt.

Brown also cited the uptick in sports gambling and the opportunity for the Braves to strike a more lucrative television deal once their current agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting ends in 2027 as reasons for buying the stock.

Hawk

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Why the stock market’s sharp rally off March lows is even stronger than in seems, according to one Wall Street chief strategist

Why the stock market’s sharp rally off March lows is even stronger than in seems, according to one Wall Street chief strategist



a group of people standing in front of a computer: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images


© Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images
Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

  • The market’s leadership is wider than perceived and consists of more than just the largest tech stocks, James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, said Friday.
  • While cyclical sectors trail the S&P 500 by 5% on a market-weighted basis, they exceed the benchmark on an equal-weighted basis, Paulsen highlighted.
  • Similarly, the S&P 500’s outperformance over the small-cap-focused S&P 600 is halved when market weighting isn’t taken into account.
  • Strong gains from tech giants “distorted many traditional market signals” and possibly shifted investors’ views of the market, the strategist added.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Cyclical and small-cap stocks aren’t getting the credit they deserve for the market’s rapid recovery, James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, said Friday.

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Tech giants played an undeniably large role in lifting indexes from their March lows. Crowding in mega-caps hit dot-com-era levels, and their outperformance led the Nasdaq to be the first major index to erase its pandemic-induced losses. Strategists warned of a bubble forming in the market and that leadership in the months-long rally was dangerously thin.

Yet certain gauges suggest the bull market’s drivers are more varied than just the popular tech giants. While cyclical sectors trail the S&P 500 by roughly 5% on a market-weighted basis, they’ve made a full recovery from the March trough and now outpace the benchmark on an equal-weighted basis, Paulsen said.

Read more: ‘The largest financial crisis in history’: A 47-year market vet says the COVID-19 crash was merely a ‘fake-out sell-off’ — and warns of an 80% stock plunge fraught with bank failures and bankruptcies



chart: Leuthold Group


© Leuthold Group
Leuthold Group

“Cyclicals have not done as well as the FAANGs — few stocks have — but relative to

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