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The Morning Brief: Sears Holdings’ Stock Near All-time Low

The retailer announced 400 of layoffs as part of its restructuring update.

Sears Holdings Corp.’s suffered another painful setback Tuesday when the reeling retailer announced 400 additional layoffs. A CNBC report noted that Stephan Zoll, president of online; David Pastrana, president of apparel; and Eric Jaffe, senior vice president of Shop Your Way are leaving the retailer. Last week the company announced plans to close another 65 Sears and Kmart stores. These are separate from the 180 closures Sears announced earlier this year. As a result, shares of Sears Holdings fell another 2.6 percent to close at $6.85, just a tad above its all-time low price. The stock is down 26 percent this year.

Separately, Sears Canada is apparently in a more dire state. On Tuesday, it said in a quarterly earnings release “there are material uncertainties” as to its ability “to continue to satisfy its obligations and implement its business plan.” As a result, there is “significant doubt” it can continue “as a going concern.” Shares of Sears Canada plummeted 20 percent to close at 69 cents. Entities controlled by Lampert own about 6.5 percent of those shares.

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Senator Investment Group disclosed that as of June 1 it held 35 million shares of Spirit Realty Capital, or 7.23 percent of the retail REIT. In early May, the stock plummeted after the company reported “an abnormally high credit loss.”
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The average hedge fund posted a 0.26 percent gain in May, as measured by the Preqin All-Strategies Hedge Fund. The London data collector stresses that while this was the seventh straight month of positive returns for hedge funds, May was the lowest monthly gain so far in 2017. For the year, the average fund is up 4.37 percent. Over the past 12 months, however, hedge funds have risen by 10.33 percent, on average, which Preqin points out exceeds the expectations for most investors based on its previous surveys.

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