Warner Bros Discovery shares slip on first trading day

STORY: Shares of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery fell on Monday, the company's first day of trading after its $43-billion mega merger.

But shares of AT&T, which officially handed off WarnerMedia to Discovery on Friday, soared more than 7%.

The new media and streaming firm, which brings HBO Max and Discovery+ under one roof and owns blockbuster franchises such as "Batman" and the "Harry Potter" movies, faces stiff competition from a crowded field of streamers including Netflix, Disney+ and AppleTV.

Long-time Discovery veteran David Zaslav will lead the new company, which one analyst said was in capable hands and expected Zaslav to help Warner Bros. Discovery transition into a direct-to-consumer powerhouse.

Other analysts saw headwinds, including rising interest rates and slowing subscriber growth across the streaming industry.

J.P. Morgan said it was an attractive time to buy shares of AT&T, which the brokerage called defensive and inexpensive, as the telecom major transitions to focus on its core business.