1. Sears and Kmart: When holiday shopping in July is not only condoned, but encouraged, someone's bound to cross the line. Enter Sears, whose revenues plummeted 5.8% in the past year and whose stock price soured by 42% in the past three months. Given that bleak backdrop, it's little wonder Sears felt like playing holiday music and lining its seasonal aisles last week with trees, ornaments and little light-up houses. The sale continued in the tchotchke-teeming "Christmas Lane" sections of Sears.com and Kmart.com, but Sears and Kmarts' biggest present for consumers is a "Christmas Club" card offering 3% interest (up to $100) for would-be Santa's looking to save now. So between the midsummer sales and the savings clubs, consumers get the privilege of spending twice? It's a holiday miracle!

-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.


Follow Jason Notte on Twitter and get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site, Stockpickr.com.
Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.

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