Shares in The Walt Disney Co., one of the components of the Dow Jones industrial average, were down 6.8 percent at $27.53 at midday Monday, the lowest they have traded since Jan. 23.
The slump was part of a widespread collapse in stocks, with the Dow off 432 points, or 4.2 percent, to 9892 in midday trading amid fears that a global financial crisis is on the horizon despite bailout efforts by the U.S. and other governments.
Shares in media and entertainment companies are increasingly hard hit because the financial meltdown is expected to crimp consumer spending, cause a slowdown in advertising and hurt theme park attendance.
Last month, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger told journalists in London that Disney's travel and tourism business, encompassing its theme parks in the U.S., was "defying gravity given the circumstances." He said the key was tourism from abroad encouraged by the weak U.S. dollar.
He expected advertising revenue to be hurt at Disney's ESPN and ABC networks but said ads represented only 20 percent of the company's overall revenue