What might November hold in store for Woolworths shares?

Woolworths could have a boring month, but there's a chance it might be a big one.

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It's the end of the trading month of October, and Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) shares went out in style. At market close, the Woolworths share price recorded a healthy gain of 0.89% to round out the month, taking the share price to $35.22.

Even so, it was still been a rough month for this ASX 200 consumer staples stock and supermarket giant. Woolworths shares started the month at $37.32 a share, which means investors are staring down the barrel of a monthly loss of more than 5.5%.

But let's now look forward and not backward. So what might the eleventh and penultimate month of the year bring for Woolworths shares and their owners?

What's in store for Woolworths shares in November?

Well, frankly, it looks set to be a fairly boring month for the company.

After the quarterly sales update that we saw last week, Woolworths has no corporate milestones scheduled for November. Or December for that matter. The next big item on the Woolworths calendar is the half-year results announcement penned in for next February. There aren't even any dividend payments to look forward to until 2024

But that doesn't mean that there is nothing that might move the Woolworths share price next month. So let's look at a couple of events that could be catalysts for a big share price jump… or fall.

The first is the highly-anticipated and imminent next meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). The RBA is set to make its next interest rate call on Melbourne Cup Day next month. Most commentators are expecting the Bank to raise rates once again to a fresh 12-year high of 4.35%.

This could have an impact on Woolworths shares, alongside most of the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). Interest rate hikes are designed to take more cash out of ordinary Australians' pockets in order to dampen inflation. If there are more dollars being devoted in the household budget to mortgage payments, then there is less to go towards other goods and services, including groceries.

If the RBA does hike rates, no one should be surprised to see Woolies, as well as most other ASX shares, come under pressure. Conversely, if the RBA holds back and keeps rates steady, we could see a sentiment boost for the local share market.

Watch out for inflation too

Secondly, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release its latest inflation numbers in the middle of next month.

As the largest purveyor of food, drinks and household essentials in the country, Woolworths is a bit of a gatekeeper when it comes to inflation. If inflation continues to remain sticky, or even upticks, we could see Woolworths sales experience a big move.

Whether this is up or down remains to be seen though. Woolworths is often thought of as an inflation hedge. Thus, higher inflation could see investors rush into Woolies shares as a safe haven. On the other hand, higher inflation would almost certainly mean higher interest rates again. This could knock even more skin off of the entire stock market.

Either way, it wouldn't be surprising to see this inflation announcement move the Woolworths share price when it does eventuate.

So those are the catalysts that are arguably the most likely drivers of any big changes we might see in Woolworths shares next month. Let's wait and see what happens with this ASX 200 blue-chip stock.

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 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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