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Top trader bets on JC Penney rebound…again

A JC Penney store in New York City.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
A JC Penney store in New York City.

Jim Lebenthal, the current leader of the CNBC's "Halftime Report" Portfolio competition, is making a bet that J.C. Penney shares will move higher after trading sideways for one month.

So far in 2015, the chief investment officer at Lebenthal Asset Management is up 12 percent in his model portfolio, compared with a 1 percent return for the S&P 500.

Part of those gains were because of Penney, which was one of the investor's top picks at the beginning of the year.

He then sold the position in February as the stock rallied.