Many large retailers are enjoying the stock rally. Not Walmart

Brendan Case

Walmart Inc., the engine of the world's largest family fortune, is missing out on the stock-market rally that has propelled rivals to record highs this year. Veteran watchers of the mighty retailer are struggling to understand why.

The share price has risen just 1% this year through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 index has advanced 25%. That is Walmart's worst lag compared with U.S. stocks since 2015, and the gap is wider still with other large retailers. Target Corp. has jumped 34% this year and Costco Wholesale Corp. is up 50%. Home Depot Inc. has surged 54% in a rally that lifted its market value above Walmart's last month.

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