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J.C. Penney Shares Up in Wait for Ron Johnson’s Exit

After-hours gains erased after retailer says Mike Ullman to return as ceo.

Retail stocks enjoyed increases Monday as investors lifted shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. 2.7 percent in anticipation of the end of Ron Johnson’s tenure as chief executive officer of the midtier retailer.

Shares added 42 cents, to close at $15.87, during Monday’s regular trading session as Wall Street waited for word that Johnson was out, and the stock continued to rise in early after-hours trading.

However, once Penney’s confirmed that Johnson would leave and be succeeded by Myron (Mike) Ullman 3rd, Johnson’s predecessor, Penney’s surrendered its early after-hours gains.

By 5:35 p.m. EDT, after-hours gains that had stretched as high as 10 percent had been transformed into a 5.9 percent decline, 94 cents below the close at $14.93.

Even with the gains garnered before the close of the markets Monday, Penney’s shares are down 19.5 percent since ending 2012 at $19.71.

Prior to the conclusion of the Johnson drama at Penney’s, the S&P 500 Retailing Group picked up 1 percent to 731.97 Monday, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 0.3 percent increase to 14,613.48.

Even with Monday’s gains, shares are down 19.5 percent since ending 2012 at $19.71.

Two Los Angeles area firms, Joe’s Jeans Inc. and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., were the biggest percentage gainers among apparel and retail stocks Monday, with Joe’s up 5.6 percent to $1.90 and PacSun ahead 5.5 percent to $2.29. Coldwater Creek Inc. and Oxford Industries Inc. also drew approval from the bulls, growing 4 and 3.2 percent, respectively, to $3.14 and $56.23.

Gainers outnumbered decliners by about a three-to-one margin in the world of publicly traded fashion companies Monday. Tandy Brands Accessories Inc. weathered the largest sell-off, falling 3.3 percent to 46 cents as it continued attempts at a restructuring after it fell out of compliance with the profitability covenants of its credit agreement with Wells Fargo.

Another Los Angeles-based concern, American Apparel Inc., shed 0.9 percent to close at $2.10.

European markets closed on an upbeat note after less-than-sunny performances last week. Paris’ CAC 40 and Frankfurt’s DAX led the way, both up 1 percent to 3,666.78 and 7,662.64, respectively. The FTSE 100 in London was ahead 0.4 percent to 6,276.94, while the FTSE MIB in Milan was slightly down at 0.1 percent to 15,243.39.

The pound traded at $1.51 against the dollar, while the euro was worth $1.31 and the Swiss franc fetched $1.07.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s strongest gainers including Yoox, up 3.4 percent to 14.74 euros; Mulberry, 2,7 percent to 9.55 pounds; and Compagnie Financière Richemont, 2.2 percent to 72.65 Swiss francs.

Among the stocks losing ground were Asos.com, down 1.3 percent to 31.57 pounds, and Safilo, 1.4 percent to 10.53 euros. Shares of ethical gemstone miner Gemfields took a tumble, dropping 15.9 percent to 0.25 pounds after it said it could be hurt by a possible ban by the Zambian government on selling stones outside the country.