Walmart Stock Extends Selloff After Earnings

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Walmart reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street’s estimates

Blue-chip retailer Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) stepped into the earnings confessional this morning, reporting third-quarter earnings and revenue were both well above Wall Street’s estimates. In addition, comparable-store sales rose more than expected, after customers flooded the store to buy up price-sensitive groceries amid rising inflation. The mega-retailer also hiked its annual sales and profit forecast ahead of an expected surge in demand for toys and apparel as the holiday season looms.

Despite the upbeat earnings news, WMT is taking a step back this morning, last seen down 2% at $143.95, and battling its year-to-date breakeven mark. In fact, the equity has been in selloff mode since its October rally lost steam at the $152 level earlier this month.  

In response to the earnings event, options traders today are piling on Walmart stock. Already, 112,000 calls and 41,000 puts have crossed the tape — six times the intraday average with volume running in the 100th annual percentile. The weekly November 150 call is the most popular, followed by the 148 call in the same series, with positions being opened at the latter. 

A broader look shows options traders have been much more bullish than usual over the last 10 weeks. This is per the security’s 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.71 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than 76% readings from the past year, implying a healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls of late.