The price of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) over the past year has increased 42.59% while the S&P 500 has increased 18.38%. During the past 20 days, WMT has increased 2.63% while the broad market has increased 2.67%. WMT ‘s 20-day moving average currently sits below its 100-day moving average. This is a bearish signal that suggests the stock price might have farther to fall. WMT’s average trading volume during the past 20 days is higher than the average volume over the past 100 days, which could be an indication that investors are feeling more certain than usual about the direction of WMT’s future price movements.

Recent trading patterns in the stock of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) have investors on high alert. Performance is ultimately what matters to investors, and it’s worth taking a look at the data to get a sense of where WMT might be headed in the future. In the most recent quarter, institutional ownership increased by a net of 9.4 million shares, or 1.03%.This is a bullish sign and indicates that institutions are feeling more optimistic about the outlook for WMT overall.717 holders increased their positions, 722 decreased their positions, and 206 holders held their positions.

Among institutions that increased their positions, 101 were new positions. Among holders that decreased their positions, 84 sold out of the stock Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.. Insider ownership during the latest quarter decreased by a net of 47.23 million shares, indicating that WMT’s key executives are feeling more bearish about the stock than they did three months ago. 10 or 16.67% of the trades during the past quarter were buys, and 50 or 83.33% were sells. This activity represents a continuation of a theme over the past twelve months. Insider ownership during the last year has decreased by a net of 202.58 million shares. 21.67% of insider trades in the last 12 months were buys, and 78.33% were sells.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has a 20-day RSI of 67.42%. According to this momentum indicator, a reading between 30 and 70 suggests the stock is not especially cheap or expensive, and not on the brink of a trend reversal. The MACD tells a different story. WMT’s 9-day MACD currently sits below the 20-day MACD, indicating that WMT’s upside momentum has decreased during the last three weeks. This suggests that the trend might soon reverse. WMT’s average trading volatility during the past few weeks is -58.71% lower than the average volatility over the past 100 days. This means that the stock’s daily price swings have been less extreme in recent times compared to the past.

Analysts expect Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) to generate earnings per share of $4.43 in 2017. This works out to an increase of 2.55% compared to last year’s earnings. For comparison’s sake, analysts expect the S&P 500 to grow earnings by an average of 12% in 2017. The average investment rating for WMT on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong sell and 5 being a strong buy) is a 3.83 or a Hold. Three months ago, analysts assigned WMT a 3.78 rating, which implies that analysts have become more optimistic about the outlook for the stock over the next year.