Tesla Slides To 2-Year-Low As Twitter Embroiled In Controversy

Topline Shares of electric vehicle giant Tesla fell Friday to their lowest level in 25 months as the social media antics of its billionaire CEO Elon Musk, the brash new owner and CEO of Twitter, continue to weigh on the company. Elon Musk’s “antics” have inspired a dreary year for Tesla stock.AFP via Getty Images Key Facts Tesla stock fell Friday by as much as 4.8% to $150.04, its lowest intraday ticker since November 18, 2020. Shares recovered slightly to a 4.7% daily decline by market close, far outpacing the tech-heavy Nasdaq’s 1% drop. Other American automakers also struggled during Friday trading, with shares of General Motors and Ford declining 3.5% and 5.8%, respectively, after Ford raised the price on its electric pickup truck and federal regulators disclosed a probe into General Motors’ autonomous driving division. The latest Tesla crash comes during the first trading session since Twitter suspended the accounts of rival platform Mastodon and multiple journalists who cover Musk, who dubiously claimed he banned the reporters for sharing his “assassination coordinates.” The move drew criticism from news organizations CNN and the New York Times, Democratic politicians and a threat from the European Union that Twitter may face regulatory penalties, including potentially a multibillion-dollar fine, for censoring the press. Tesla shares are now down 60% since Musk disclosed he took a 9% stake in Twitter on April 4 and about 33% since he officially took power at Twitter on October 27, far underperforming compared to the broader market. Crucial Quote There are “fears that the Twitter circus show is going off the rails with this latest Musk antics seen over the last 24 hours,” Dan Ives, Wedbush’s managing director of equity research, wrote to Forbes on Friday afternoon. “This overhang is a dark cloud over Tesla as the brand of Musk has gone from a superhero to a villain in the eyes of the Street.” Big Number $22.9 billion. That’s how much in Tesla stock Musk has sold since he entered an agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion in late April, following a $3.6 billion selloff this week. Forbes Valuation Musk is the second-wealthiest man in the world, worth $169.7 billion according to our calculations. Musk’s fortune is down nearly 50% since last November, almost all thanks to Tesla’s decline. About two-thirds of Musk’s net worth is from his stake in Tesla, according to the latest Forbes analysis, while Twitter accounts for 9.5% of his wealth. Key Background Long one of Twitter’s most popular users, Musk often criticized the site’s content policies and promised to make Twitter an “inclusive arena for free speech” under his ownership. Musk did fire employees tasked with moderating content and unblock several high-profile, mostly right-wing users, including former President Donald Trump, but his commitment to “free speech” came into question this week after he banned the popular account tracking the already publicly available whereabouts of his private plane and journalists who covered the saga. Musk claims the suspended accounts led to a “crazy stalker” threatening his son. Further Reading Dow Falls 400 Points: Stock Market Set For Worst Week In Months As $4 Trillion Options Expiration Fuels Major Volatility (Forbes) Elon Musk Has Now Sold $22.9 Billion In Tesla Shares Since Buying Twitter—And Dragged Down Tesla’s Market Cap By $700 Billion In The Process (Forbes) Twitter Suspends Accounts For Rival Mastodon And Several High-Profile Journalists (Forbes)

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