Why 3 Stocks are Leading the Dow Lower

After yesterday's sea of red, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) attempted to turn things around this morning when the index pushed toward the 13,000 mark. But the markets have since turned negative once again. As of 12:55 p.m. EST, the Dow is down 52 points, or 0.4%, to 12,880. Now that the election is over and earnings season is coming to an end, investors' eyes are back on Europe and the fiscal cliff. The saying that "no news is good news" simply will not do for the next few weeks.

Today, 20 of the Dows 30 components are in the red, with three of the biggest losers being McDonald's (NYS: MCD) , Chevron (NYS: CVX) , and Cisco (NAS: CSCO) .

So why are they down?
This morning McDonald's reported that October same-store sales fell 1.8%. This marks the first monthly sales decline for the company since March of 2003. As rivals apply increased pressure with low prices, new menus, and massive advertising campaigns, McDonald's seems to be losing some ground. Don Thompson, who became CEO in July of this year, certainly has his work cut out for him. The company has been the Dow's second-worst performing stock this year, down 14.9% year to date. Shares are trading lower by 1.6% today.

The price of oil dropped $4 yesterday as the markets took a nosedive. Today the price of oil seems to be stabilizing, but the big oil companies are still losing value. Chevron is trading lower by 0.78%, while ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) is down 0.24%. With the overall market falling yesterday, most would assume that the oil companies were just following the crowd. And while that may be the case, the U.S. Energy Information Administration also released its weekly data yesterday, indicating that oil reserves were well above average for this time of the year. Additionally, refinery capacity for the week was at 85.4%, and the four-week average is moving lower.

Finally, shares of Cisco are off by 1.97% today. With no real negative news pertaining to the company, the move lower could be in anticipation to the company's third-quarter earnings release scheduled for next Tuesday. Analyst estimate that the company will increase net income by 7.9% from this time last year and that full-year profit will rise by 4.9%. The company is on a four-quarter streak of beating estimates. Since the beginning of September, the stock price has fallen nearly 10%, which could be indicating to other investors that it is time to move on to other opportunities.

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The article Why 3 Stocks are Leading the Dow Lower originally appeared on Fool.com.

Matt Thalman has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald's and ExxonMobil. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Chevron and McDonald's. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

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