Signage is seen on a shopping cart inside a J.C. Penney Co. store in Peoria, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading. 

Coty — The cosmetics company continued its slide following its dismal earnings on Monday. Coty — the biggest loser in the S&P 500 — tanked 13%. Coty also agreed to sell a majority stake in its beauty and hair businesses, Wella and Clairol brands, to investment firm KKR in a deal valued at $4.3 billion. The stock was downgraded to hold by BNP Paribas and got its price target slashed by Stifel and Deutsche Bank.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival, Royal Caribbean — Cruise lines were under pressure once again as investors grew jittery about the economy reopening. Norwegian and Carnival dropped more than 9% each while Royal Caribbean fell 7.1%.

J.C. Penney – Shares of the retailer jumped more than 19% after CNBC learned that the retailer is in talks with lenders

ahead of a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as Friday, according to people familiar with the matter. The company, once worth billions, is now valued at just $79 million, with the stock trading for pennies on the dollar. 

GE – Shares of the industrial conglomerate slid more than 7% to the lowest level in more than 11 years. The stock broke below $5.73, which was the lowest-level hit during the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.

BlackRock — Shares of the asset manager rose more than 4% on Wednesday after PNC announced that it would sell its stake in the company for $420 per share, more than $30 per share below where the stock closed on Tuesday. The sale should result in increased index ownership of BlackRock and will remove some regulatory restrictions for BlackRock, Argus said in a note to clients.

Occidental Petroleum – Shares of Occidental dropped 8% after Reuters reported the energy company is offering its employees voluntary buyouts in the next two weeks. Occidental cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the steep decline in oil prices for the move. 

Amazon, Netflix – Big tech continued to outperform with shares of Amazon and Netflix up 0.6% and 0.9%, while the S&P 500 fell nearly 2% around midday. The tech duo have been benefiting from the stay-at-home trend amid the coronavirus pandemic.

— CNBC’s Maggie FItzgerald, Jesse Pound, Pippa Stevens and Fred Imbert contributed reporting.

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