Market Focus

Sears

Sears is officially spinning off its Lands’ End unit in a turnaround effort. The retail giant filed with the SEC to distribute stock to shareholders for the value of Lands’ End, but the board of directors still needs to sign-off on the transaction. This is the company’s latest effort to get back on track as it faces wider losses and unhappy investors. Shares fell nearly 4% to $48.09.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney is facing an SEC inquiry into its finances. Regulators are investigating the retailers controversial $800 million stock offering this fall. The agency has also requested information on Penny’s liquidity, cash and equity, and debt. Share plunged about 9% to $8.08.

Barnes & Noble

J.C. Penney wasn’t alone shares of Barnes & Noble also tumbled today on an SEC probe. Regulators are looking into the book chain’s accounting and its restatement of earnings announced in July. The filing cites a former employee who said the company had improperly allocated expenses in its report. The stock dropped 12% to $14.43.

Intel

Citibank upped its rating on Intel to “buy” from “neutral” sending shares higher. In the upgrade note the analyst pointed to stabilizing corporate demand for personal computers, even though the overall PC market has been declining. Shares rose more than 2% to $24.82.

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