The electrified move in Tesla’s stock (TSLA) price has short-circuited.
Shares of Tesla tanked nearly 6% to $672 in pre-market trading on Tuesday, continuing a rout that commenced on Monday. At current pre-market price levels, Tesla’s stock is down about 15% to start the week. And at $672 a share, Tesla shares have now fallen below the $695 price level the company entered the S&P 500 with back on Dec. 21, 2020, according to Yahoo Finance Premium data. The stock is up 1.3% on the year, lagging the S&P 500’s 3.2% gain. Shares rose about 695% in 2020.
It’s not too hard to spot why Tesla’s stock has come under severe pressure.
First up, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Saturday that the price of bitcoin “seemed too high.” That’s unlikely what Tesla bulls wanted to hear from their supreme leader. Recall that earlier this month, Tesla said it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. If Musk thinks bitcoin has hit a near-term top, it could risk Tesla’s investment in bitcoin and by extension, its stock market valuation.
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) prices have plunged below $50,000 following Musk’s comments. At about $46,000 currently, bitcoin prices are nearly 20% off from their record high of about $58,000 on Feb. 21.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse took a rare public swipe at Tesla.
“It won’t be easy for Tesla to continue at that speed because the rest of the industry is moving ahead big time,” Zipse reportedly said at a conference, Bloomberg reported.
The comments essentially call into question Tesla’s longer-term competitive position as more established vehicle makers — such as BMW — enter the electric vehicle markets.
The sell-off in Tesla has caught the attention of Dan Ives at Wedbush Securities.
“It’s been a number of factors contributing to this red tape for Tesla. First, Tesla stopping sales of its lowest price Model Y coupled by continued price cuts have led to Street demand worries. To this point, we never viewed this Model Y version as moving the needle and continued price cuts is part of the overall Tesla strategy to spur demand. Second, the Bitcoin sell off has attached itself to the Tesla story as now in the eyes of the Street Bitcoin and Tesla are attached at the hip,” Ives told Yahoo Finance.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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