Why is the Wesfarmers share price defying today’s ASX 200 bloodbath?

Why are Wesfarmers shares holding up in today’s market bloodbath?

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It has been an absolute bloodbath for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) and ASX 200 shares so far this Friday. As it currently stands, the ASX 200 has lost a nasty 2.3% and is well back under 7,200 points. But the Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price is faring far better.

As it currently stands, Wesfarmers shares are up by 0.16%. What’s more, the conglomerate broke even a few times today, rising as high as $49.86 a share. That’s well above the $49.46 it closed at yesterday.

So why is the Wesfarmers share price defying the market’s gloom so effectively today?

Why is the Wesfarmers share price defying the ASX 200 bloodbath?

Well, it’s not entirely clear. There’s been nothing out of the company itself of note today so far.

However, looking at the markets, we do see a pattern that would help illuminate things. The consumer discretionary sector that Wesfarmers operates in is currently the second-best performing sector of the ASX 200. Plus, other blue-chip shares outside the cyclical banking and mining sectors are also holding up pretty well.

Take Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW). Its shares are also escaping the worst of the market’s bad mood, and have only lost 0.3% so far today. It’s a similar story with Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), which has lost a similar amount. And the Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price is actually in the green today, up 0.65% so far at $18.60 a share.

So perhaps Wesfarmers’ relative strength today is a result of investors seeking ‘safety’ amongst ASX 200 blue-chip shares.

Whatever the reason, it probably feels pretty good to be a Wesfarmers shareholder right now. At the current Wesfarmers share price, this ASX 200 conglomerate has a market capitalisation of $56.11 billion, with a dividend yield of 3.43%.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Telstra Corporation Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET, Telstra Corporation Limited, and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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