The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) has taken a beating lately, but the venerable index breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday. As of 1:45 p.m. EDT, the Dow has gained about 114 points, or 0.87%. Jobless claims are down, Hurricane Sandy faded into a damp spot somewhere over Canada, and the birds are singing again.
Yet a couple of spoilsports decided not to join the party.
A grand total of three Dow stocks are trading down right now, while the other 27 are sipping dirty martinis on the sundeck. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT ) is today's biggest loser, sinking 1.36%. E-tailing giant Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) just opened up its Black Friday sales a whole month early, sparking fears of lost sales across the traditional big-box retailing sector.
Next comes pharma veteran Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) , trading down 1.4%, or three Dow points, due to a weak third-quarter report. Lipitor sales are way down since the cholesterol-control drug ran out of patent protection, and the company faces some tough decisions regarding which pipeline drugs it should support with heavy research budgets next year.
Rounding out our troubled trio on this sunny market day, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) fell 0.4%, worth four Dow points. That's not a terrible plunge on its own, but it's notable when the stock trails its Dow peers by 1.4%. The culprit? Golden-arch rival Burger King Worldwide (NYSE: BKW ) , which is thriving and announced this morning that the company will run home delivery in a few test markets. Can McDonald's respond to that innovation? Burger King's shares have gained 6.8% since last Thursday, while McDonald's sank 0.9%.