What happened

Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) shareholders trailed a declining market in September as the stock fell 17% compared with the S&P 500's 3.9% drop, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

That drop was insignificant in the context of broader positive returns, though, with shares having soared by over 900% so far in 2020.

A young woman shopping on a laptop while sitting on her couch.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

September was a volatile period for shareholders as the stock made multiple one-day surges. One of these was related to investor expectations around the booming home furnishings market. Another occurred just after Overstock announced positive news about its cryptocurrency and blockchain focused subsidiary, Medici Ventures.

Yet the stock still fell during the month, with declining cryptocurrency prices providing an opportunity for some investors to take profits following its over 800% rise in the preceding eight months.

Now what

Overstock rallied again as October began, as Wall Street analysts continue to point out the favorable positioning of its retailing division. Rival Wayfair has posted record growth in recent months thanks to elevated e-commerce spending on home furnishings and decorations.

Overstock is likely to reveal similarly strong sales results when it posts fiscal third-quarter earnings in late October or early November. But however that forecast is received by Wall Street, investors should brace for swings in both directions with this volatile stock.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.