Retail giant Walmart Inc. (WMT) , a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is consolidating significant volatility that occurred between its February 2018 all-time intraday high of $109.98 and its May 2018 low of $81.78. This 25.8% range is the longer-term backdrop as the retailer reports earnings before the opening bell on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The more recent volatility has Walmart up 5.8% year to date and up 14.9% from its Dec. 24 low of $85.78. The stock is 7.2% below its Nov. 12 high of $106.21. This dual-volatility since the beginning of 2018 was primarily caused by the retailer's challenge to compete with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) . As a consumer, 95% of my shopping is on Amazon Prime. What I have noticed over the last six months is that orders of bulky items from Amazon such as cat litter came from Walmart.
Aanalysts expect the retailer to post quarterly earnings of $1.33 a share. For its quarter ended in July, the stock spiked higher and the daily chart below shows a gap higher on that day. For the quarter ended in October, the stock accelerated to the downside when released on Nov. 15. Some analysts look for grocery sales to give Walmart a boost. This would indicate that Walmart is successfully competing with Amazon's Whole Foods franchise. Walmart also is expected to see growth from its e-commerce activities. My charts line up with the consensus overweight rating and price target of $106.57. I show risky levels between $103.41 and $105.77. Fundamentals include a P/E ratio of 20.24 and dividend yield of 2.12%, according to Macrotrends.
The Daily Chart for Walmart
Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith
The daily chart for Walmart illustrates that "death cross" and "golden cross" signals don't always work. A "death cross" occurred on April 26, 2018, when the 50-day simple moving average fell below the 200-day simple moving average indicating that lower prices would follow. The close on April 26 was $87.94. The "death cross" was reversed by a "golden cross" confirmed on Sept. 17 when the 50-day moved above the 200-day indicating that higher prices would follow. The close on Sept. 17 was $94.82.
The Nov. 12 high was $106.21 and the close of $103.81 that day resulted in a daily "key reversal" as this close was below the Nov. 9 low of $104.81. This signal followed the stock to its Christmas Eve low of $85.78. At the Dec. 24 - Dec. 26 lows, I successfully called for the beginning of a bear market rally for stocks. The close of $93.15 on Dec. 31 resulted in new key levels from my proprietary analytics. My annual and quarterly risky levels are $103.41 and $104.10, respectively. The close of $95.83 on Jan. 31 resulted in a risky level of $105.77 for February. I do not expect Walmart to achieve a new high at this time.
The Weekly Chart for Walmart
Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith
The weekly chart for Walmart shows a bull market run of 95% from a low of $56.39 set in November 2015 to its all-time high of $109.98 set on Jan. 29, 2018. Today the chart is positive with the stock above its five-week modified moving average of $95.89. The stock is well above its 200-week simple moving average or "reversion to the mean" now at $78.47 which was last tested during the week of July 14, 2017, when the average was $73.34. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading is projected to end this week at 54.72 up from 47.37 on Feb. 8.
Trading Strategy: Buy weakness to the 200-day simple moving average at $92.30 and reduce holdings on strength to my annual, quarterly and monthly risky levels at $103.41, $104.10 and $105.77, respectively. I am not looking for a new high.