Stocks are rallying today as blue-chip indexes finally surpass their 2007 records. As of 2:50 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is up by 135 points, or 0.95%. As my colleague Alex Dumortier noted earlier, "The last time we were at these levels was during the heroic last gasp of a mortally wounded bull market."
In terms of individual stocks, the worst-performing component of the S&P 500 is J. C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) , down 9.4%. The ailing retailer has struggled since taking on high-profile CEO Ron Johnson in 2011. At the end of last month, it reported downright cataclysmic earnings for the final three months of 2012, notching same-store sales down a staggering 31.7%. Fellow Fool Sean Williams perhaps summed up the performance best, calling it "nothing short of the most atrocious quarter ever to grace the retail sector."
Today's move follows news that one of J. C. Penney's biggest investors has decided to jump ship. Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO ) , the second-largest shareholder in the company, dumped a 10 million-share block in a deal arranged by Deutsche Bank yesterday, cutting its stake by 40%, people familiar with the transaction told Bloomberg News.
To add insult to injury, analysts believe Vornado will sell its remaining shares in the not-too-distant future. As an analyst quoted by Bloomberg wrote: "We think Vornado could be back in the market in the near-term to sell its remaining 8.6 million shares. Our work indicates that monetizing J.C. Penney's real estate would be difficult and substantially less lucrative than the market initially thought."
Moving on to Dow components, the best-performing blue-chip stock today is Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO ) , up 2.1%. While the information technology giant has struggled since 2007, when it traded above $33 per share, it has worked over the last year to regain ground. And now, as Fool Rick Munarriz writes, it's only "pocket change away from a fresh 52-week high."
On the flip side, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) is down 0.4%, making it the worst of three Dow stocks that are losing value today. The popular soda-drink maker is a notorious defensive stock. Consequently, when investors are in more of a risk-on mentality, as they are today, it's no surprise to see Coke fall behind.
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