For anyone who's been living under a rock for the past four-plus years, here's the news: U.S. stocks are on an absolute roll. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is up almost 150% since the lows of March 2009, and Friday marked a fourth straight week of gains, as the index closed at yet another all-time high. Unfortunately, while the thriving S&P closed up 17 points, or 1%, to end at 1,667, a handful of its components took substantial dives -- for personal reasons.
Professional design software company Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK ) led all laggards Friday, slipping 6.7%. It's actually surprising that shares in the company -- which makes software products that allow consumers to design 3D objects -- didn't fall more. It cut its projected 2013 sales in half, for goodness' sake! Factor that in with sales and earnings that missed expectations in the most recent quarter, and it's no wonder shares were down nearly 14% at one point today.
Struggling retailer J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) slumped 4.2% Friday, a day after the company announced a steep, 16% decline in sales. While recently departed CEO Ron Johnson put the company in a tough spot, there's hope that the return of Mike Ullman can get customers back in stores. A speech that Ullman made to shareholders this morning outlining a renewed effort in e-commerce and private-label brands just wasn't compelling enough to rally the stock today.
After rallying more than 6% on Tuesday on news of a $750 million share repurchase program, heart-valve manufacturer Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW ) fell each successive day of trading. Friday was no different, and shares dropped 2.3%, despite the absence of any real material developments. Perhaps shareholders are just now digesting Tuesday's news that longtime CFO Thomas Abate will be leaving later this year; the company is currently searching for a suitable replacement.
J.C. Penney's stock cratered under Ron Johnson's leadership, but could new CEO Mike Ullman present the opportunity investors have been waiting for? If you're wondering whether J.C. Penney is a buy today, you're invited to claim a copy of The Motley Fool's must-read report on the company. Learn everything you need to know about JCP's turnaround -- or lack thereof. Simply click here now for instant access.