History Says Buy the Walmart Stock Dip

Walmart stock historically tends to outperform in September

Managing Editor
Sep 17, 2021 at 8:00 AM
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Shares of blue-chip retailer Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) have had a volatile 2021, trading as low as $126.28 in March and eclipsing $150 by late August. All of this adds up to WMT remaining just above its year-to-date breakeven mark. However, in recent weeks the equity has pulled back from its Aug. 17, nine-month peak near $153, as well as to a trendline with historically bullish implications. A signal that also looks to be flashing is Walmart stock’s historic performance for the month of September –noteworthy considering September’s oft-bearish seasonality -- which could indicate that now is the perfect time to bet on the blue chip’s next leg higher.

Just ahead of the company’s earnings release, we suggested that with a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) 73, WMT may be in store for a short-term pullback within the coming weeks. Sure enough, WMT is now down 2.5% in the last 30 days. But despite the lackluster price action, September could right the ship.

Specifically, White compiled a list of the 25 best-performing stocks this month, going back 10 years. In this time frame, WMT has seen eight positive one-month returns, with a median gain of 0.9%. That's good for being one of the only two Dow stocks on the list, bested by chip maker Intel (INTC), which boasts an impressive median return of 4.7% in September. A similar move from Walmart stock's Thursday close of $146.42 would put the equity just shy of $148 -- facing off with this month’s $149.65 peak.

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Even further, per White, WMT just came within one standard deviation of its 40-day moving average after a lengthy period above the trendline. A commendable 12 similar pullbacks have occurred in the past three years. One month after these signals, Walmart stock was higher 50% of the time, and averaged a return of 1% in that time period. From Thursday’s close, a similar move would put the also just shy of its September peak.

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Keep an eye on Walmart’s options activity, which could lead to an unwinding of bearish bets. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call volume ratio (SOIR) sits higher than 96% of readings in its annual range. This means traders have rarely been more put-biased toward Walmart in the last 12 months. The good news for potential options buyers is Walmart stock premiums are attractively priced right now. This is according to the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 14%, which stands in the low 6th percentile of readings from the past 12 months.

Subscribers to Chart of the Week received this commentary on Sunday, September 12.

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