Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): Today's Featured Retail Winner

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.8%. By the end of trading, Wal-Mart Stores rose $2.49 (4.2%) to $61.68 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 29 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $61.25-$62.50 after having opened the day at $61.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.19. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: Children's Place Retail Stores ( PLCE), up 5.8%, ValueVision Media ( VVTV), up 3.9%, Sears Holdings Corporation ( SHLD), up 3%, and Stein Mart ( SMRT), up 3%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $201.83 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Advance Auto Parts ( AAP), down 17%, E-Commerce China Dangdang ( DANG), down 16.1%, GameStop ( GME), down 11.1%, and Bon-Ton Stores ( BONT), down 8.8%, were all losers within the retail industry with eBay ( EBAY) being today's retail industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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