Why did the Woolworths (ASX:WOW) share price tumble today?

Why is Woolworths having such a woeful Wednesday?

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SCA share price a child who's been crying with a sad look on his face sits iin the child seat of a supermarket trolley in a supermarket aisle lined with grocery items.

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As you may have noticed by now, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has not had a great day of trading on the markets this Wednesday. At the close of trading, the ASX 200 was down by 0.28% at 7,235.9 points. But one ASX 200 blue chip is making those losses look desirable. That would be the Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price.

Today has certainly not been a day where Woolworths shares have WOWed… investors. This supermarket and groceries giant was down by 2.4% at $39.84 a share at the close of trade today. Needless to say, that’s a meaningful underperformance of the broader market.

So what’s up with Woolies this Wednesday?

Woolworths share price has a woeful Wednesday

Well, unfortunately, it’s not clear. There have been no major news or announcements out of the company itself. Nor have there been any major director transactions or ex-dividend events.

However, there was a noticeable trend on the ASX boards today that Woolworths shares may have been caught up in.

Looking at the ASX’s paltry performance this Wednesday, and we can see that the consumer staples sector was, by a mile, the worst-performing sector on the markets. The consumer staples sector typically includes retailers that primarily sell life essentials like food, household goods and drinks. That obviously includes a supermarket like Woolies.

But that means the Woolworths share price probably did not suffer in solitude today. And looking at this company’s peers in the consumer staples sector, we find it to be true.

Woolworths’ arch-rival Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) was also down heavily, losing 1.55% at $17.74 a share. Likewise, IGA-owner Metcash fell 1.72% at $4 a share. Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) dropped 2.56%, while Woolworths’ old flame Endeavour Group Ltd (ASX: EDV) was down by 1.6%.

So it seems Woolworths shares have been caught up in a sector-wide selloff, with seemingly nothing specific with the company itself going on.

It’s worth highlighting in a final note that Woolworths is still up around 2.9% over the past month, and 17.5% year to date in 2021 so far, so this could also be a possible routine pullback for this ASX stalwart.

At the current Woolworths share price, this ASX 200 blue chip share has a market capitalisation of $48.29 billion, with a dividend yield of 2.71%.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Treasury Wine Estates Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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