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

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) pushed the Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Wal-Mart Stores fell $0.77 (-1.0%) to $74.49 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 12,892,080 shares of Wal-Mart Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,555,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $74.45-$75.66 after having opened the day at $75.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.26. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 5.1%, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage ( NGVC), down 4.8%, Stein Mart ( SMRT), down 4.2% and Weis Markets ( WMK), down 3.9%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $245.8 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), up 8.7%, HHGregg Incorporated ( HGG), up 5.5%, Body Central ( BODY), up 4.3% and Vipshop Holdings ( VIPS), up 3.5% , were all gainers within the retail industry with Michael Kors Holdings ( KORS) being today's featured retail industry leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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