MCSLUMP: McDonald's dragged the Dow lower Wednesday. Other fast-food restaurants also fell on concern that Americans will have less money to spend as higher Social Security taxes take a bite out of their wallet.
RETAIL IS DETAIL: Retail sales barely grew in January, according to a Commerce Department report. Sales growth slowed to 0.1 percent from 0.5 percent in December.
BUYBACK BOOST: General Electric rose 3.6 percent to $23.39 after the company said late Tuesday that it would sell its stake in NBC Universal to Comcast for $16.7 billion and use much of the proceeds to buy back its own stock.