S&P 500 adds Netflix to its queue

Standard & Poor's upgrades Netflix to large-cap index and, in an almost ironic move, has bounced old-media bastion The New York Times Co. down in return.

Financial services company Standard & Poor's announced changes yesterday to its S&P 500 stock market index, a widely respected compendium of large-cap U.S. public companies: Netflix is on the list for the first time. In the same announcement, rather poignantly, S&P announced that newspaper giant The New York Times Co. has been demoted to its index of mid-size companies (the MidCap 400), as has photography equipment manufacturer Eastman Kodak.

Previously, Netflix had been on the MidCap 400 list.

Netflix has had one heck of a year, nearly a decade after it first went public in 2002. The company recently launched a streaming video service in Canada , its first outside the U.S., and continues to sign deals with hardware manufacturers to make its service available on more set-top boxes and video game consoles .

But its listing on the S&P 500 came the same week as the company's chief financial officer announced his resignation , assuring that he would not be doing so unless Netflix were in good hands but generating some mild investor unease about what might be going on as the DVDs-by-mail service gradually shifts strategy to online streaming. Hollywood has begun to regard Netflix's growing power with uncertainty and a bit of suspicion --despite Netflix's historically positive relationships with television and film studios .

And Netflix, or more specifically the amount of bandwidth it uses, is also at the center of a very open and very ugly feud over traffic fees between cable giant Comcast and content delivery network Level 3 Communications.

Netflix's stock was up today in early trading, attracting interest in the wake of its induction into the S&P 500.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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