That's really the conclusion you might draw today, following the three-month "trading buy" rating put on the stock by the analysts at HSBC (NYSE:HBC). That's because there's some reason to believe HSBC might just be a contrary indicator.

As far as I can tell from Motley Fool CAPS -- where we have endeavored to track HSBC's calls since Aug. 10 -- the HSBC picks we've followed have managed to beat the market less than 45% of the time. You can see the gruesome details here.

Hey, it ain't easy keeping up with a coin flip.

And make no mistake, it's tough to prove that success in short-lived calls is anything other than coin-flip accuracy. Interestingly enough, the more you pay attention, the worse you seem to do.

You and I may disagree on whether Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is a buy, or whether we'd be better off in hipper Target (NYSE:TGT), nice-guy Costco (NASDAQ:COST), turn-around glamour-shot Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD), or maybe just stuffing our dough under the mattress.

But there's one thing I think we can agree on: Calling a stock both a buy and not a buy (what else can long-term "neutral" mean?), presupposes a degree of short-term clairvoyance that I doubt HSBC has. Unless you count the whole 50%-of-the-time thing.

But if I want that kind of advice, I'll just head to my change jar and ask the coins what they think.

Comments? Bring them here.

At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had no positions in any company mentioned here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Costco is a Stock Advisor pick. Fool rules are here.