J.C. Penney Ousts Ron Johnson, Brings Back Ullman: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include J.C. Penney ( JCP) after the department store retailer's board ousted CEO Ron Johnson, replacing him with his predecessor, Mike Ullman.

News of Johnson's departure broke late Monday, sending shares of J.C. Penney up nearly 13% in after-hours trading. However, after news that Ullman would return to the helm broke shares fell to about 6% below their closing price.

Johnson's tenure as CEO lasted only 17 months. He was hired from a top job at Apple ( AAPL), where he was commended for helping to make the company's retail stores so successful. But his turnaround plan for J.C. Penney, which employed a "no sales or coupons" upscale strategy, failed miserably. The stock fell nearly 53% in a year.

Ullman was chief of J.C. Penney from 2004 until 2011. He is not credited with revolutionizing the company's image or bringing in new customers, but rather overseeing the retailer's stable sales.


KPMG is trending after the accounting firm said it fired a partner for insider trading.

The firm said late Monday night that it fired a partner in its Los Angeles office for allegedly giving private client information to a third party which used it for stock trades. KPMG said it learned of the incident last week and immediately fired the individual. It also said it had to end business relationships with two clients as a result of the former partner's actions.

KPMG did not indicate whether an investigation on behalf of the Securities and Exchange Commission has begun.

KPMG has 22,000 partners and employees.


MasterCard ( MA) is another popular search. The credit card company is being investigated by European Union regulators over antitrust concerns.

EU regulators said it is looking into whether the company's card fees for non-European cardholders and policies violate EU antitrust rules. They said they will also be investigating MasterCard's policies that force merchants to accept all MasterCard variations and rules that inhibit merchants from seeking better terms from other banks.

If MasterCard if found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules, it can be fined up to $740 million or 10% of its 2012 revenue.

Six years ago, the European Commission blocked MasterCard from charging cross-border card fees in Europe after an investigation.

EU regulators are investigating Visa ( V) Europe's card fees as well.


The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.

Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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