Shares of Wayfair (NYSE:W) dropped 14.8% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. For perspective, the stock is up over 200% year to date and up 1,000% since lows hit in March. Considering these stellar gains, investors and analysts alike let fears creep in during the otherwise quiet month -- fears that have already been replaced with excitement for the company's third-quarter results.
Analysts slightly soured on Wayfair stock in October. For example, one analyst with Gordon Haskett previously called Wayfair a buy but lowered expectations a little because of "near-term headwinds," according to The Fly.
However, the biggest drop for Wayfair stock came in the month's last two days, with shares falling about 10%. Why it fell so hard so fast is anyone's guess, as there wasn't any news. But it's probably safe to say once the stock fell a little, the risk of further downside motivated other shareholders to take profits off the table.
It's often during periods of no news that we can become the most fearful in investing. The field of psychology talks about humanity's propensity toward a negative bias, especially when our minds are allowed to drift. With growth stocks like Wayfair that are already up so much, it's easy to let fear of losing our gains motivate us to sell.
A short-term mindset like this is rarely helpful in investing, and indeed Wayfair is already rebounding. Wayfair stock jumped 7% on Nov. 3, after the company reported a whopping 67% year-over-year increase in Q3 revenue. That doesn't necessarily mean there aren't valid reasons to sell or stay on the sidelines. But during the quiet times, like October, it's imperative for investors to make sure they sell for the right reasons.