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J.C. Penney Shares Down 17% as Global Stocks Rise

Most markets end day on up note as investors retreat from Penney’s following dramatic fourth-quarter loss.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares endured a heavy sell-off Thursday as most U.S. retailers and global indices enjoyed a strong day.

While the majority of U.S. retail stocks rose in Thursday’s trading sessions, J.C. Penney posted the biggest decline in the sector following its dismal fourth-quarter earnings report Wednesday. Shares plunged $3.59, or 17 percent, to close at $17.57. Sears Holdings Corp., which managed to narrow its fourth-quarter loss from a year ago, slipped 5.2 percent to $45.

Overall in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2 percent to 14,054.49, while the S&P Retailing Industry Group inched up 0.3 percent to 705.22.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 2.7 percent to 11,559.36, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose nearly 2 percent to 23,020.27.

European stock markets registered more modest gains Thursday.

The CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt were both up 0.9 percent to 3,723.00 and 7,741.70 respectively. The FTSE MIB in Milan and the FTSE 100 in London both advanced 0.6 percent to 15,921.25 and 6,360.81 respectively.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly on the upswing, with the exception of Mulberry Group, which declined 5.7 percent to 12.52 pounds, or $18.94 at current exchange, and Asos.com, which sank 1.5 percent to 27.42 pounds, or $41.48.

Among the day’s biggest gainers were Ferragamo, which was up 6.2 percent to 21.45 euros, or $28.06 at current exchange; Brunello Cucinelli, which was up 2.4 percent to 15.69 euros, or $20.53; Luxottica Group, which advanced 3.6 percent to 35.56 euros, or $46.52, and the Swatch Group, which rose 3 percent to 95.25 Swiss francs, or $102.25.