Retailer JC Penney has fallen on hard times after activist investor Bill Ackman sold his stock and abandoned his efforts to turn around the American corporation, its shares didn't have any better fortune. The stock that once traded near the $80 a share before the financial crisis never rebounded from the recession the way it has from past downturns. Shares are off more than 50% over the last 12 months, but optimists point toward a U.S. consumer that is more eager to spend, as well as the fact that JC Penney shares have only lost four percent in 2014. Could the turnaround bear fruit soon? It may depend on JC Penney's 'muse.'