What happened

Shares of Sears Holding Corp (SHLDQ) were moving higher for the second day in a row on word that it would auction off some of its stores to give it badly needed cash.

The stock finished the day up 7.5% after trading as much as 12.4% higher earlier in the session.

The interior of a Sears store.

Image source: Sears.

So what

According to The Wall Street Journal, real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is partnering with an online auction platform called Real Insight Marketplace to help Sears sell 16 of its profitable locations in an online auction. 

The sales process started in February and has received significant interest, attracting about 200 potential bidders. It's unclear how much income Sears could generate from the sales, but the fact that there's interest in its real estate should help reassure investors in the struggling stock. 

Separately, on Monday in another positive sign, the S&P raised its credit rating on Sears to CCC- due to debt extensions, cost reductions, and new liquidity.

Now what

With Sears' retail business looking utterly broken, investors' best hope is for the company to leverage its assets like brand names and real estate. Closing stores and selling off property is the best way for Sears to generate the cash it needs and demonstrate the company's value. The stock has a market cap of just around $350 million, but with about $10 billion in liabilities, it still seems hard to believe in a full-fledged turnaround.

Still, keep an eye on the upcoming auction, as a high price for Sears' stores will almost certainly send the stock higher.