Market Minute: Another Turnaround for JCPenney; Microsoft to Drop XP

Ron Johnson, chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co., testifies at State Supreme court in New York, U.S., on Friday, March 1, 2013. Johnson took the witness stand to testify in a dispute between his department-store chain and Macy?s Inc. over the right to sell Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. merchandise. Photographer: Thomas Iannaccone/Pool via Bloomberg
Thomas Iannaccone/Pool via Bloomberg
J.C. Penney does an about-face, and Microsoft sets a deadline for millions of Windows users.

The Dow Industrials rose 48 points yesterday, the S&P 500 added 9 and the Nasdaq gained 18. The market has been on a see-saw ride recently. The S&P has not had back-to-back gains or losses for the past 13 sessions, the longest such streak on record.

J.C. Penney's (JCP) controversial CEO Ron Johnson has been ousted after less than two years on the job. The company's revenue fell sharply last year after he eliminated sale prices and coupons, only to backtrack later on. Myron Ullman, the former CEO, will return as Johnson's replacement. Investors are concerned the flip-flop could lead to another expensive makeover. Penney shares lost half their value during Johnson's tenure.

If you own a computer running on Windows XP system, Microsoft (MSFT) will in effect disown you a year from now. The company says it will stop supporting XP, meaning it will not provide security patches or system updates.

Alcoa (AA) kicked off the earnings season last night with a better-than-expected increase in quarterly profit. But revenue for the industrial bellwether was a bit shy of estimates. The company also said China's production cutbacks are reducing the worldwide oversupply of aluminum.

Google (GOOG) has been giving away its Android system to mobile phone makers, in exchange for prominent placement of the company's apps on Google Maps, YouTube and others. Now a group of rivals – including Microsoft, Oracle (ORCL) and Nokia (NOK) – are asking European regulators to charge Google with antitrust violations.

Ford (F) says its Focus brand was the top-selling passenger car in the world last year. It sold more than 1 million of the cars in 2012 – a quarter of them in China.

And Citigroup (C) may file suit against the Nasdaq. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bank wants to recoup losses suffered in the botched launch of Facebook (FB) stock last May.

–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

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Microsoft has other problems. Their browser "Internet Exploryer" has become so unpredictable that I have now been using Google Chrome.

April 09 2013 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Someday the government will say "No You Don't" as they are some of the biggest users.

April 09 2013 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They no longer support Windows 95, or Windows (original) no great surprise here. Fortunately, XP is probably their most stable product.

April 09 2013 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it wasn't something they just decided to do recently it was known for years back when vist first came out but then that flopped and it was extended once 7 was released and they then gave the 2014 date instead if we were stuck with vista then xp would have been done in 2010

April 09 2013 at 12:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

its in the fine text agreement. Plus it was well stated back in 2002 that xp will end support in 2014 well actually it was sooner but it was extended a couple years ago when vista came out...... the same with windows me,2000,98,95,NT,3.1,3.0 lol they all had their end date of support.

April 09 2013 at 12:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

well, if you follow the way Gateway and the MICROSOFT store in Orlando florida have treated me, it seems they can get away with anything they want, Gateway in CHINA,which used to be a proud AMERICAN company, charged me 159.00 and 1 second later says we are sorry we cannot fix it, goodbye, Microsoft said it was a certain part which we bought, well it worked for 4 days, and then crapped out again, and they said, oh its this other part.grrrrrrrrrr, I ordered my gateway from south Dakota direct, and they sold to ACER, don't buy them either, cause when the warranty is gone, you can count the days!!!!! This is the customer service the article wrote about, now isn't it?

April 09 2013 at 12:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

They can't just stop supporting XP users who have paid for the product. Someone needs to file a class action lawsuit to force them to continue their obligations of support and updates.

April 09 2013 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply