Shares of troubled retailer J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q) jumped as much as 18% today after the company announced strong earnings. The highlight of the report was the 6.2% increase in same-store sales this quarter, the second consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth. 

While that may be nice, J.C. Penney had undergone nine consecutive quarters of same-store sales losses before these last two quarters of growth. So are the two most recent quarters enough to signal a turnaround? Motley Fool analyst Sara Hov isn't sure. On one hand, the same-store sales increase, the departure of Ron Johnson, and an expansion of its gross margin are all good signs. However, 30% of the stock is held by short-sellers and there's a lot of bearish sentiment surrounding the company.

So, is today the day for investors to dive into J.C. Penney? On today's Stock of the Day, Sara says nay -- she'd rather be investing in retailers like Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.