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Why Sears Holdings Stock Popped Today

Jeremy Bowman, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) were moving higher today after the battered retailer said it would expand its partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) to install tires sold on Amazon at Sears Auto Centers nationally.

As a result, the stock was up 12.8% as of 3:04 p.m. EDT.

The exterior of a Sears department store.

Image source: Sears.

So what

The partnership builds on a test between the two companies launched in May, in which 47 Sears Auto Center locations in eight metro areas performed installations and balancing for any brand of tires, including Sears-owned DieHard. 

Now, Sears and Amazon are expanding the so-called Ship-to-Store tire solution program nationwide. The option to have your tires shipped directly to Sears and installed is integrated into the Amazon checkout process. 

Sears Automotive Vice President Mike McCarthy said, "The response from Amazon customers around this program has been extremely positive, adding that the service is "resonating with customers."

Now what 

While the partnership with Amazon may be a win for Sears Auto Centers, it does little to change the trajectory of the overall business. Sears stock has plunged to nearly $1 amid ongoing concerns about its liquidity as the company bleeds cash and sales continue to tumble. Just last week Sears said it would close 46 more stores. 

Investors may be hopeful that the partnership with Amazon could lead to a further helping hand, or even an acquisition, from the e-commerce giant, but that seems unlikely. There's not much of a good argument for Amazon's taking over Sears, and when Amazon does make acquisitions, it buys well-run, forward-looking, successful business like Whole Foods, Ring, and PillPack. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is not looking for fixer-uppers.

I'd expect Sears shares to resume their downward slide shortly, especially with the company's second-quarter earnings report on deck.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.