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J.C. Penney shares fall following analyst downgrade

J.C. Penney (JCP) declined after the stock was downgraded earlier this morning at research firm Macquarie to Neutral from Outperform. The firm cited a lack of customer response to J.C. Penney's new pricing strategy. Macquarie also said it believes the company's transformation will take much longer to succeed, if it is successful at all. An article in the Wall Street Journal, which indicated that shopping malls are likely to see tepid growth this year, added to the negative sentiment in the name. The WSJ noted that retail landlords and industry experts expect moderate growth this year for U.S.malls, as demand for space in existing shopping centers remains weak. In late morning trading, shares of J.C. Penney slid over 3% to $18.40 to near their intra-day lows.