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Dow Hits All-Time Highs; J.C. Penney Sinks Further

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared past its record closing high on Tuesday, smashing through levels last seen in 2007 as it closed at 14,253.77. The prior closing high, set on October 9, 2007, was 14,164. The S&P 500 also hit 5 and 1/2-year highs; the index now sits 26 points below its all-time closing high of 1,565, set on the same day.

J.C. Penney (JCP), however, was not feeling the rally love as it hemorrhaged even more of its market value. Shares opened sharply lower and closed the trading day down more than 10%. At this point it appears even the people behind the store's planned turnaround are running for the exits. Board member and activist investor Steve Roth is unloading 10 million Penney shares owned by his firm Vornado Realty Trust (VNO). Roth paid between $25 and $30 for the shares. The stock also lost 5% Monday on the news that Roth was decreasing his investment in the company.

Meanwhile, Sears Holdings (SHLD) emerged as one of today's biggest gainers. Shares were closed up more than 5% for the day. The rise follows word that CEO Edward Lampert has purchased 1.24 million of the retailer's shares from an investment fund he controls. That's a transaction of about $55 million.

Google (GOOG) stock hit a new all-time high of $840.15 intraday Tuesday, along with the Dow. Shares have been advancing as the company's Android software further dominates the mobile phone market. In addition, Google is maintaining its lead in mobile advertising. The stock is now trading about $280 above its 52-week low, which was hit back in June.

Apple (AAPL) shares bobbed back a least a little bit today. Shares rose again after hitting a new 52-week low Monday; they had tumbled another 2% on the news that a judge was changing a jury award that Apple won in a patent case against rival Samsung. Apple was originally supposed to receive $1 billion but will now be paid less than half of that. AAPL ended up around 2% for the day on Tuesday.

Marriott (MAR) just might seem to have a screw loose. The company is announcing a new partnership Tuesday with Ikea; the two companies are teaming-up to create a new low-cost hotel chain in Europe. The hotels won't have Ikea furniture, but in the Ikea mindset, many rooms will be pre-fabricated. Shares of Marriott have been see-sawing over the past year but are currently within striking distance of their 52-week high of $41.84. Shares ended up close to 1% for the day.

Meanwhile, Gun-maker Smith and Wesson (SWHC) reported its quarterly earnings after the closing bell, with a 39% jump in sales that was helped by higher demand for its rifles and pistols. Smith & Wesson's shares fell more than 18% after the Newtown shooting in December but they bounced back amid a sales surge. While shares were up initially after hours following the results, investors then seemed to book gains on the company, sending the stock down around 2%.