As the coronavirus crisis sends stocks spiraling downward, one major retail player is poised for its best month in years: Walmart.
Shares of the Bentonville, Ark.-based chain have climbed by more than 13.8%, from $107.68 to $122.58, since the start of March — putting it on pace to see its best month since 2014.
Walmart is a hot stock amid the coronavirus pandemic as self-quarantined consumers stock up on groceries and other key household products. To keep up with demand, the retailer has placed per-customer limits on staple items such as milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Additionally, the company has twice cut back on store hours to allow for increased restocking, cleaning and sanitizing.
While the coronavirus crisis has sent Walmart shares trading higher, this month has been a volatile one for the overall market. Since the start of March, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped by over 20%, falling to below 20,000 points for the first time since 2017. The two other major U.S. benchmarks, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, have seen similar slides. And big players across the footwear and fashion industry, including Skechers, Foot Locker and Ross Stores, have withdrawn their guidances due to the evolving coronavirus situation.
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Multiple states and cities have ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses, with companies asking their employees to work from home and schools shifting to at-home digital instruction. According to Johns Hopkins data, there are now more than 9,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and over 150 people have died.
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