Blowing the Dust Off J.C. Penney

The trader isn't surprised by today's news on J.C. Penney after an accidental visit to one of its catalogue centers at Eckerd.
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Peter Lynch

lives!

My wife and I had to pick up an anniversary card on the hop Saturday and the only place we could find a spot next to was

Eckerd

. Oh man, was this place ever not to be believed. I felt like I was visiting a drug store from the middle ages, a totally unpleasant place to shop.

As we were walking out we passed the

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

catalogue section, which had nobody staffing it and a handwritten sign saying that you couldn't do layaway. It was dusty and dirty and seemed like nobody had manned it in years.

My wife said that we should short J.C. Penney. I said it was too low. She said it didn't matter, we should short it anyway.

As usual, she was right.

Random musings

: Weird but true. Last week

Lanier

(LR)

announces a big buyback. Today they announce a disappointment. Go figure. Could be bad for

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

, too... Matt Jacobs' fave pick,

Verisign

(VRSN) - Get Report

, ramps 30 ahead of a split. We are taking some profits at

Cramer Berkowitz

but Matt is holding on to his full position in the rotisserie league. Ivester quits

Coke

(KO) - Get Report

for personal reasons? Were his kids caught drinking

Pepsi

(PEP) - Get Report

?

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Verisign and Coke. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at

jjcletters@thestreet.com.