NEW YORK — Edward Lampert continues to leave them guessing.

Lampert is head of ESL Investments, the hedge fund that bailed Kmart out of bankruptcy and that holds the largest single stake in the firm. He’s also chairman of Kmart, but that hasn’t stopped him from building his Sears, Roebuck & Co. holdings to 8.9 percent of the firm, the second-largest stake, as of the March filing of the retailer’s definitive proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ESL’s holdings trail only those of State Street Bank and Trust Co. While SEC documents have yet to bear them out, reports say ESL and State Street have increased their Sears holdings in recent months.

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