Plano, TX–To celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, the top executives of J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) were on hand to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Chairman/CEO Allen Questrom and president/COO of J.C. Penney Stores, Catalog, and Internet Vanessa Castagna rang the opening bell to start trading at 9:30a.m. April 12. Too bad the general merchandise giant, which has been publicly traded since 1929, didn’t have better numbers to kick off its birthday. As reported in out March sales roundup, for the four weeks ended March 30, Penney’s total company sales rose a scant 3.5% from a year ago, to $2.97 billion, while catalog sales were down 22.5%.