This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Oct. 19

5. J.C. Penney's Pusher

J.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson once referred to coupons as a "drug" habit that his addicted customers needed to break. Well, judging by his surprise e-mail late last week, Ron seems to be the one who cracked.

Johnson sent an e-mail last Thursday to Penney's customers -- the remaining ones that is -- which included a $10 "gift" to thank them for sticking with his struggling department store despite his radical pricing and appearance changes. In case you may have forgotten, J.C. Penney stopped offering coupons back in February in favor of an approach that stresses everyday low prices.

The coupon, er, sorry Ron, gift can reportedly be used for an in-store purchase until Nov. 4 and can be applied to purchases of $10 or more. As to why Johnson didn't extend the promotion through the all-important Black Friday weekend, we have no idea.

And that's not the only question dogging Johnson's curious coupon campaign...Darn! Forgive us. We called it a coupon again, even though J.C. Penney spokesperson Kate Coultas specifically told the WSJ that "this invitation is in no way a reflection of a departure from our fair and square everyday low prices."

Wait Kate! Is it an "invitation," a "gift" or a "drug"? Now we're really confused.

And we're apparently not the only ones puzzled by the real meaning behind Johnson's latest ploy. Oppenheimer's analyst said Friday that Johnson's maneuver, however desperate, is not a return to its prior promotional strategy, while Deutsche Bank's analyst put a note out proclaiming, "$10 Off Is A Coupon In Our Book."

"With all the changes taking place in our stores, the question I hear most often is: 'What's your vision for jcpenney?'" wrote Johnson in the e-mail.

Really Ron? That's the question you hear most often? Wow, the one we hear most is: What on earth is this joker doing to a once-proud American company?

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,086.63 -26.91 -0.16%
S&P 500 1,987.01 +3.48 0.18%
NASDAQ 4,473.6970 +17.6810 0.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs