Money Minute: Iconic Index Drops J.C. Penney; New Records for Dow, S&P?


Some retail stocks may make good stocking stuffers, but J.C. Penney remains a lump of coal.

Like it or not, the holiday shopping season is here. Barron's magazine has identified nine retail stocks that offer good deals for investors. Here they are: Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Macy's (M), Dillard's (DDS), Home Depot (HD), Kohl's (KSS), Chico's (CHS), Urban Outfitters (URBN), Coach (COH) and Dollar General (DG).

JC Penney dropped from S&P 500
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Not surprisingly, J.C. Penney (JCP) isn't on the list. Over the past year or so, it fired its chief executive, Mryon Ullman, then fired his replacement, Ron Johnson, and brought back Ullman. Its sales tumbled and the company made an ill-fated deal to sell items designed by Martha Stewart (MSO).

The stock has lost nearly half its value over the past year, and now it's being dropped from the S&P 500. That will lead to more selling this week as the mutual funds that track the index will have to dump it. J.C. Penney will be replaced on the S&P by Allegion, the maker of electronic security products about to be spun off by Ingersoll-Rand (IR).

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC)
start the week at record highs, and both have posted seven straight weekly gains. Despite the celebrations over the Dow surpassing 16,000 and the S&P topping 1,800, the gains last week were pretty modest. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%The Dow rose 0.6 percent, the S&P rose 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) edged up by 0.1 percent.

And this is a holiday-shortened week. Of course, the market is closed on Thanksgiving Day, and there's only a half day of trading on Friday. That means volume throughout the week will be light, and that sometimes leads to some volatility.

The private company that owns TGI Fridays may put the restaurant chain up for sale. The parent company, Carlson, is heavily invested in hotel chains, including Radisson, Park Plaza, and Country Inns & Suites.

And the movie studio Lions Gate (LGF) is catching fire. Its Hunger Games sequel, called "Catching Fire," took in more than $300 million worldwide during its debut weekend. Lions Gate shares have more than doubled in price over the past year.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.