Wednesday was a terrible day on Wall Street, as major market benchmarks plunged in the wake of several disturbing developments. Hurricane Michael made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast, with the potential to do serious damage to areas of the South, including some locations that are only now starting to fully recover from Hurricane Florence's devastation. At the same time, rising bond yields continue to be a concern. Yet even with poor market sentiment, some companies were able to see their stocks rise. J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), and Nio (NYSE:NIO) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

J.C. Penney makes a deal

Shares of J.C. Penney rose nearly 7% after the company extended a key partnership with a consumer financial services company. Synchrony Financial agreed to lengthen its relationship with the department store retailer for another several years, building on almost 20 years of experience with Penney's credit card programs. The news is a vote of confidence in J.C. Penney, which desperately needed to reassure its credit card customers that it will continue to deliver the rewards and other benefits that they've come to take for granted. J.C. Penney has work to do to keep bouncing back, but today's announcement is a step in the right direction.

JCPenney logo.

Image source: J.C. Penney.

Tilray moves up

Tilray gained 5.5% as the marijuana stock remained volatile. Investors are positioning themselves for the legalization of recreational cannabis products in Canada later this month, and as one of the only stocks that trade on major U.S. exchanges, Tilray has become exceptionally popular among those following the marijuana craze. Some analysts have also started to ramp up their expectations of the industry's growth, with Cowen having nearly tripled its price target on Tilray to $172 per share. There's a lot of risk in cannabis, but if it takes off, Tilray could be among the best-positioned to take full advantage.

Nio draws interest

Finally, shares of Nio jumped 5%. The Chinese electric-car manufacturer got a vote of confidence from an investor that has also invested previously in American counterpart Tesla. Baillie Gifford & Co. revealed in a regulatory filing that it now has an 11% stake in Nio, serving as another bet in the electric vehicle space beyond its nearly 8% position in Tesla. Given the relative sizes of the companies, Gifford's roughly $500 million position in Nio pales in comparison to the value of its Tesla stake, but Nio shareholders still see the investment as recognition of the company's potential for disruption of the industry going forward.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.