Today was a mixed day overall for the markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) falling slightly.

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average -33.07 [-0.26%] 12,676
Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) +2.47 [0.09%] 2,787
S&P 500 -1.35 [-0.10] 1,315

The losers
Travelers
(NYSE: TRV) was the biggest Dow loser, ending down 3.8%. America's largest insurance company reported earnings that fell below analyst expectations. Travelers' net income fell by 31% to $618 million, and earnings per share of $1.48 lagged analyst expectations of $1.54.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) was the Dow's second-biggest loser today, ending the day down 2.18%. McDonald's was down despite reporting higher revenue and net income in its fourth quarter today. The company's earnings of $1.33 per share beat analyst expectations of $1.30. So why did McDonald's stock post its biggest decrease in four months after the company had such an impressive quarter? Investors are worried about the struggling global economy (and Europe in particular), as well as forecasts that foreign currency fluctuations would cut into profits this year.

Rounding out the three Dow losers today was Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which ended the day down 1.59%. The second-largest U.S. phone company posted a fourth-quarter loss on previously announced pension charges. Taking out those charges, Verizon reported earnings per share of $0.52, still lower than analyst expectations of $0.60. Strong iPhone sales and smartphone demand from its wireless business drove revenues up 7.7% to $28.44 billion in its fourth quarter.   

While Travelers, McDonald's, and Verizon all lost to the market today, our chief investment officer has picked out one stock that he believes will crush the market in 2012. To see this company, check out our brand-new free report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America. You can get instant access to the name of this company for free.

Brendan Byrnes owns no shares of any company mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald'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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.