3 Dow Stocks That Beat the Big Drop

A lot of people have been looking for a correction after the long, steady rise the stock market has seen since last fall. Today, those folks got their wish, as job-market fears stoked by Friday's weak employment report sent stocks down sharply. Although the market recovered much of its losses, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) still finished down by triple digits, falling 131 points to 12,930 and marking its fourth straight daily decline.

Amid all the red ink, a few stocks managed to post gains, while others had much less dramatic losses. Let's look at a few of them.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) , up 0.2%
When competitors come back to fight, many companies start feeling the heat. But McDonald's doesn't seem to have any problem with the imminent return of Burger King to the public stock market. Last week's news that Justice Holdings, a corporate entity owned in part by famed value investor Bill Ackman, would buy an interest in Burger King will result in a NYSE listing for the company.

More important for McDonald's shareholders was news about departing CEO Jim Skinner's retirement package. Footnoted.com calculated a minimum of $82 million going to Skinner, who was with the company for almost 40 years. Few will complain, given McDonald's huge performance, especially in recent years, but it's still important for corporate boards to keep reins on executive pay.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , up 0.2%
Some might say it's a good sign to see HP rising on a big down day for the market. But with the shares still near 52-week lows, it's hard to get too excited about a tiny gain.

One interesting collaboration involved HP working with the American Medical Association to provide tech support and information to doctors and other medical professionals. Offering discounts to AMA members should encourage participation and bolster the company's status in the profession. If HP can use this initiative as a way to demonstrate its prowess in cloud-related services, then it could pay off for the struggling computer-maker.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) , down 0.1%
Home Depot didn't manage to rise today, but its small loss still left it looking good for the day. On one trend, however, the retailer seems to be losing out to the competition.

Many argue that Home Depot has better-placed stores than rival Lowe's (NYSE: LOW  ) . But as Business Insider reported today, Lowe's is doing much better in getting people to visit its Facebook page, with about 4 times the hits of Home Depot. Whether that translates into greater sales for Lowe's remains to be seen, but the news may force Home Depot to reconsider its social-media stance -- especially if it starts losing ground.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's and Home Depot, as well as writing covered calls on Lowe's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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