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Sears Posts Biggest Loss Since Kmart Union

Sears Holdings Corp. posted its biggest quarterly loss since financier Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart into one retail company, owing mainly to hefty charges related to store closures and disappointing U.S. sales.

The company also withdrew its operating-profit outlook because of the country's economic woes. Its stock soared nearly 17 percent, however, amid broader market gains after the retailer announced it was closing more underperforming stores and hiring a trio of new executives.

Still, the $146 million third-quarter loss -- worse than had been expected and the company's second quarterly loss in the past year -- is another sign of how difficult it will be for the venerable retailer to right itself amid growing competition and customers who are shopping at its stores even less than before because of the recession.

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