Taking Stock: Not a Good Time for "Fast Casual" or Casual Furniture Biz

By now you've surely noticed that Friday's stock market gains have been adiosed by today's 372-point drop in the Dow Jones, courtesy frayed nerves over the bailout plan and oil rising by some $16 a barrel. Close to home, some local players suffered major stock plunges -- Brinker International chief among them, courtesy an analyst's decision to downgrade the stock from "Buy" to "Neutral." The stock closed at $18.86, or a whopping 9.5 percent drop, thanks to further fears the fast-casual business is choking down its last Oldtimer.

Another local stock that lost 10 percent of its value today: Fort Worth-based Pier 1 Imports, down to $4 today. That's because Pier 1 said last week it wouldn't project how the rest of the year will play out, due to "difficulties and uncertainties surrounding the macroeconomic environment." On the other hand, there are deals to be had, if World Market isn't fancy enough for you. --Robert Wilonsky

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