Sears and Kmart Get Lump of Coal for Christmas

Wayne Ellis

[unhappy Christmas shopper]

Sears and Kmart Get Lump of Coal for Christmas (Reuters)

Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD) reported that comparable store sales during the holiday season at its Kmart and Sears chains continued the broader company’s decline. But, it may be that those poor holiday figures were really just the start of something much worse for these two former icons of American retail. That’s because those same store sales are down significantly more since the start of 2014. Kmart sales have tumbled 5.7 percent to begin the year, while Sears post-holiday sales started the year off even worse, down 9.2 percent. Sears’ share price reflected this bad news, closing down 14.3 percent (at $36.50) in after hours trading. If you’re still holding onto shares of the company, you may want to consider selling before things get even uglier.

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Bank of Ireland (IRE) has broken out from its long-term trading range, soaring 16.60% over the past five days. The good news from Ireland continues. Ireland exited the European bailout program on Dec. 15, and its recent debt offering was four times oversubscribed. All of this confirms the Irish turnaround story that I've been writing about for over a year. With your April $15 call options (IRE140419C00015000)

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