Sears' Credit Sale Cheered Despite Retail Risks

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Wall Street and retail experts are applauding Sears, Roebuck and Company's risky move to sell credit cards, which was its most profitable business, credit cards.

A day after Sears announced the sale of the credit unit to Citigroup for $3 billion in cash, its stock jumped three dollars and 22 cents a share, or nine percent, to 38 dollars and 20 cents in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

But even analysts who like the gamble say it raises pressure on the department-store giant to improve long-lagging retail sales, particularly in apparel.

Otherwise, they say Sears could go the way of recent industry casualties Montgomery Ward, Bradlees and Caldor at a time of steep competition and widespread discounting.