Amazon (Briefly) Lost Its Spot As the World’s Most Valuable Retailer

To a company that’s been steadily climbing for weeks.


Amazon has been king of the retail hill for a long time now, but on Tuesday it found itself in an unfamiliar spot — second place.

Alibaba Group managed to claim the top spot for a brief period before Amazon reclaimed it later in the day.

Intraday highs for Chinese e-commerce company hit $184.46 on the New York Stock Exchange. That boosted the market value to $472.4 billion. Amazon’s, at the time, was $470 billion.

By day’s end, Alibaba shares had surrendered some of those gains, while Amazon regained some ground. At market close Tuesday, Amazon had a valuation that was $5 billion higher.

The top spot switcharoo underscores the size of both retailers. Alibaba used to have the highest market value, but it lost that slot to Amazon in July 2015.

It’s likely that the two will continue to alternate between first and second place in the months to come, as Alibaba shares have been climbing steadily for the past several weeks and are hovering near 52-week highs. Amazon shares have held fairly steady and are well off their highs.

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