Stock markets ended the week on a positive note as investors showed optimism believing that Congress can negotiate a deal to increase the nation’s debt limit and avoid a historic default. The S&P 500 increased 1.3% to $4,205.45, up 0.3% on the week, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 2.2% on Friday (May 26) to finish the week up 2.5% — its fifth straight week of gains. South Korea’s KOSPI index improved 0.8% to 2,558.81 while the U.K.’s FTSE 1000 dropped 1.7% to 7,627.20.
The end-of-the-week rally didn’t get music stocks into positive territory, however. The Billboard Global Stock Index fell 1.9% this week as 15 of the index’s 21 stocks lost ground. Most of the companies’ performances fell into a narrow band of gains and losses in the low single digits. Two companies had double-digit losses: iHeartMedia fell 10.5% to $2.39 and has lost 61% year to date as the radio business experiences a soft advertising market. LiveOne, which announced on Tuesday it will acquire certain assets of podcast network Kast Media, dropped 15.2% to $1.28.
The index’s top performer was Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd., which gained 3.3% to 0.775 pounds ($0.96). Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Sphere Entertainment Co. gained 2.2% and 1.7%, respectively. The two companies were under the same roof until Madison Square Garden Entertainment’s concert promotion business was spun off from the remainder of the company on April 21. Sphere Entertainment Co., which includes the Sphere venue set to open in Las Vegas on Sept. 29 with a U2 residency, declined 3.4% to $24.02 on Friday as Morgan Stanley set a post-spinoff price target of $26 per share.
K-pop stocks were uncharacteristically quiet this week. Shares of HYBE fell 3.9% to 270,000 KRW ($204.02) despite the company announcing on Wednesday its music will be available on Tencent Music Entertainment’s streaming platforms in China. SM Entertainment declined 2.6% to 104,800 KRW ($79.19). After strong quarterly earnings boosted YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment last week, both stocks were in line with their peers this week: YG Entertainment was flat at 92,000 KRW ($69.52) and JYP Entertainment dropped 1.7% to 113,700 KRW ($85.91). Still, K-pop stocks are arguably music’s bright spot in 2023. Year-to-date, the four companies’ stock have gained an average of 67.4%.