This is absurd. Only two companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are in positive territory for the year -- Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Report and McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report.

How can that be?

I get why

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

is at the bottom of the pack. I don't blame investors for running from


(C) - Get Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, both of which are among the biggest losers this year.

But there are some solid businesses lumped among the shares that have dropped the most this year.

For example, why is there so much hate for


(MSFT) - Get Report

, reflected in a 46.1% plunge for the year so far? Microsoft is in the Dow's bottom 10 even though it delivered $4.4 billion in net income in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Is that so bad?


(INTC) - Get Report

also is down at the bottom, with a 46.2% decline this year. I know slumping PC sales are taking a toll on chip demand, but Intel is paying you to wait for the recovery with a nice dividend and 3.9% yield. Did I mention $10.2 billion in revenue and $2 billion in profit for the quarter that ended in September?

And how about


(MRK) - Get Report

? Should it really be down 50% this year and eighth-worst in the Dow? The drugmaker's got plenty of cash and a solid dividend. Oh, and didn't anyone notice steady revenue at $4.5 billion and net income of $1.1 billion in the most recent quarter?

I know these companies all have their challenges. I just think they are being unduly punished.

Get over it.