Why Did These 3 Dow Stocks Sink Today?

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%.

Everyone knows Amazon is the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but at its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried it's the company's share price that will get knocked down instead of competitors'. We'll tell you what's driving the company's growth, as well as how to know when to buy and sell Amazon, in our new premium report. Our report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as the company's story changes, so click here now to read more.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out Anders' bio and holdings, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and McDonald's. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's and Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in McDonald's. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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