Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth that listed in New York last month, briefly muscled ahead of Walmart by one important measure on Tuesday, when its market valuation surpassed that of the world's largest retailer by revenues.
Shares of Jack Ma's Hangzhou-based group climbed as much as 2.8 percent to touch a new record high of $100.50, lifting its market capitalization above $247 billion.
At that level, Alibaba was just $2 billion short of the list of the world's 10 most valuable companies, within reach of Swiss pharmaceutical groups Roche and Novartis. Alibaba would have reshuffled the coveted top 10 had it not been for better than expected third-quarter results from Novartis.
Alibaba's stock closed at $99.68, trimming its market value to $246 billion, a few hundred million dollars behind Walmart.
Walmart, with 11,000 stores in 27 countries including China, reported revenues of $473 billion for its past financial year, compared with the $8.6 billion Alibaba collected from its online marketplaces.
The gains on Tuesday follow comments from Mr Ma, the company's founder and executive chairman, who told a conference on Monday evening that he was interested in working with Apple on financial payments.