Recent trading patterns in the stock of The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) have investors on high alert. The idea that stock performance can best be predicted by analyzing past trading data is a widely held view among financial professionals. In the case of HD, the data could have some interesting implications for future performance. In the most recent quarter, institutional ownership decreased by a net of 10.6 million shares, or 1.23%.This is a bearish sign and indicates that institutions are feeling more pessimistic about the outlook for HD overall.809 holders increased their positions, 826 decreased their positions, and 243 holders held their positions.

Among institutions that increased their positions, 107 were new positions. Among holders that decreased their positions, 51 sold out of the stock The Home Depot, Inc.. Insider ownership during the latest quarter decreased by a net of 86643 shares, indicating that HD’s key executives are feeling more bearish about the stock than they did three months ago. 1 or 9.09% of the trades during the past quarter were buys, and 10 or 90.91% 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 630973 shares. 32.35% of insider trades in the last 12 months were buys, and 67.65% were sells.

Over the past year, the price of The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) has increased 31.31% while the S&P 500 has increased 19.49%. During the past 20 days, HD has increased 3.27% while the broad market has increased 1.94%. HD ‘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. HD’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 HD’s future price movements.

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) has a 20-day RSI of 67.85%. 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. HD’s 9-day MACD currently sits below the 20-day MACD, indicating that HD’s upside momentum has decreased during the last three weeks. This suggests that the trend might soon reverse. HD’s average trading volatility during the past few weeks is -56.44% 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 The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) to generate earnings per share of $7.32 in 2017. This works out to an increase of 13.49% 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 HD on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong sell and 5 being a strong buy) is a 4.17 or a Moderate Buy. Three months ago, analysts assigned HD a 4.11 rating, which implies that analysts have become more optimistic about the outlook for the stock over the next year.