What happened

Shares of upscale retailer Nordstrom (JWN -1.14%) were rising on Friday morning, after investors waded in following one of the market's worst down days in years.

As of 10:45 a.m. EDT, Nordstrom's shares were up about 8.3% from Thursday's closing price.

So what

On the one hand, there are legitimate short-term reasons to be worried about Nordstrom. Like other retailers, it's nearly certain to face a steep decline in store traffic as measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 take hold in the U.S and Canada.  

A Nordstrom sign on the outside of a store.

Image source: Nordstrom.

There are already signs that the viral outbreak is keeping shoppers home. Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger said in a note on Wednesday that U.S. retail traffic fell 9.1% last week, while luxury retail traffic dropped 14.7%, as consumers reacted to increased news coverage of the coronavirus's spread. 

On the other hand, there are reasons for long-term-minded investors to wade back in after yesterday's steep decline. Nordstrom remains a well-run company with solid financials, good longer-term prospects, and a dividend yield (currently 7.4%) that has only become more attractive as its share price has fallen.

Now what 

The pandemic is likely to hit Nordstrom's sales, but maybe only for a quarter or two. The good news is that China -- where the pandemic seems to have started -- is already starting to get back to normal.