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Why the Dow Cratered Today

John Divine
October 19, 2012

The Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEX: ^DJI  ) took a serious turn for the worse today, falling 205 points, or 1.52%, to close at 13,343. The market was hampered by disappointing news from a number of major companies, as well as renewed anxiety about Spain's fiscal situation.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) led the Dow downwards, taking a 4.5% hit after missing earnings estimates for a second straight quarter. Earnings per share fell 1.4%, and global sales were also down. The company, which has a massive presence overseas, was hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar, and increasing competition.

General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) was the second biggest loser in the index, as its third quarter also failed to impress investors, and currency headwinds, as with McDonald's, hurt results badly. Shares fell 3.4%. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT