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Quick Hits: Sears to Grab Stimulus Checks

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

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While economists debate how consumers plan to spend their stimulus checks, Sears (SHLD) just wants to collect them.

In an attempt to reconnect with customers, the embattled discount retailer is offering taxpayers a bonus if they spend their rebate at Sears or sister company Kmart. Shoppers can exchange stimulus checks for a gift card at either store, plus a 10% bonus.

The company's 2007 profits fell 44%, as consumers have increasingly allotted their dollars to competitors like Wal-Mart (WMT) and Costco (COST).

Stimulus checks haven't even left Washington, but some Democrats are already gearing up to provide further assistance to struggling consumers. Democrats are drawing up plans to create jobs and provide further assistance to financially challenged voters.

Bush, for his part, wants to give the first package a chance to work before considering additional measures. Analysts expect the Democrats will have a hard time passing new legislation, but with the election just seven months away and intervention the policy dejour, nothing should be ruled out.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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