Money Minute: Penney Dealt Blow in Legal Battle With Macy's

Struggling retailer J.C. Penney gets hit with another blow, this time for its relationship with Martha Stewart.

In an ongoing legal battle between three retail giants the New York Supreme Court has ruled that J.C. Penney (JCP) "interfered" with a contract struck between Macy's (M) and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) in 2006.

Macy's claims it had signed an exclusive deal then to carry Stewart's branded products but in 2011 Stewart struck a deal with Penney. Macy's sued both parties and settled with Stewart but not Penney. Monetary penalties will be decided later on and Penney is considering appealing. The wardrobe drama continues.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%If you've ever thought of speaking out about malfeasance at your firm but were afraid of being demoted here's a bit of encouragement. The Securities and Exchange Commission has just fined hedge fund Paradigm Capital Management $2.2 million for punishing a whistle-blower who filed a complain with the SEC. It's the first time an investment firm has been punished by the SEC for punishing those with the guts to speak up.

From a PR perspective BP (BP) may be on the path to recovery. The energy giant has just been awarded its first Pentagon contract since it was barred from doing business with the U.S. government following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The $43 million natural gas deal comes after BP agreed to improve its safety record, operations, corporate governance and ethics.

Here on Wall Street on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 5 points, while the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 10 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 1 point.

Finally, if the Ford Escape is your favorite vehicle you have something in common with car thieves. According to a new study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau it is the most favored SUV among auto thieves. From 2010 through 2013, 1,421 Ford Escapes were stolen. The other top favorites are also Ford (F) models: the Edge and the Explorer. The states most vulnerable to SUV thefts are California, followed by Florida, Michigan, Texas and New York.

-Produced by Karina Huber.

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