It all happened in one day.
Alibaba's shares soared on Thursday after CFO Maggie Wu told a packed audience at the company's investor day that total sales could climb by 45 to 49 percent this year, a target that tops analysts' expectations by 10 percentage points.
"The company will continue building its ecosystem based on data technology with core businesses supported by payment, logistics, data management platform and cloud," Jefferies analyst Jessie Guo wrote in a note to clients.
The internet giant is showing how it can evolve beyond its e-commerce roots by dipping into digital media and entertainment, cross-border e-commerce and even digital marketing, representing additional sources of revenue. And Wall Street is happy about it.
Meantime, Nordstrom's stock was also climbing higher Thursday, but for an entirely different reason. The traditionally brick-and-mortar retailer said it's exploring a "going private" transaction by the Nordstrom family, who formed a special committee to consider such a deal.
"I think this is a clear message that consumers are changing how they operate and that there is a free fall happening in retail," Eric Schiffer, chairman of DigitalMarketing.com, told CNBC in an interview, reflecting on the two companies' narratives.
"It's crippling old brands and hanging over their head in a very threatening way. If you're an e-commerce pure play, you're in a powerful position."
Nordstrom's shareholders have likely been "terrified" by the latest headlines about mall closings and weak same-store sales, and the company's value would erode should it stay as it is today, Schiffer went on. It might be better for the retailer to "deal with the storm privately," he added.
Nordstrom has shown signs of trying to beef up its e-commerce platform and especially its digital version of the off-price Nordstrom Rack nameplate.
During its latest quarter, Nordstrom said its online sales were 24 percent of total net sales for the period, driven by 11 percent growth at Nordstrom.com and 19 percent growth on Nordstromrack.com.