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Tesla Is Finally Falling Back To Earth

Illustration for article titled Tesla Is Finally Falling Back To Earth
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

Tesla’s stock has been on an absurd streak that began roughly around this time last year and culminated with the company opting for a 5-to-1 stock split that was all possibly a way to engineer a stock price of $420. But steep losses in recent days mean Tesla would also be more than happy with $420 now.


Those losses mean that Tesla is now trading at $354 as of this writing, making its valuation over $300 billion, still good enough to be the most valuable car company in the world but well off from its heady peak of around $460 billion just a week and a half ago.

What this means in real terms is basically nothing, unless you are a Tesla shareholder or have taken up a short position on Tesla’s stock. The stock is down this time as the market more broadly pulls back and apparently because the S&P did not list Tesla in the S&P 500 last week as they were widely expected to do. I almost laughed when I read a quote about it from an S&P spokesman that amounted to a giant shrug.


Via Bloomberg:

Instead, online retailer Etsy Inc., semiconductor equipment manufacturer Teradyne Inc. and medical technology firm Catalent Inc. were added, replacing H&R Block Inc., Coty Inc. and Kohl’s Corp.

S&P Dow Jones Indices, which oversees the index, rebalances it on a quarterly basis, but its components can shift more frequently, spokesman Ray McConville said by phone on Friday. “The index committee can make a change to the index at any time,” he said.

The committee’s decision has the power to add or subtract billions to Tesla’s value and determine the fortunes of an untold number of investors and they’re out here saying that they could do this at any time with no warning. Which is at least honest, the stock market being a sophisticated casino in which individual investors have a minuscule amount of power and definitely don’t determine the rules of the game, if you needed any reminding.

Again, via Bloomberg:

“We think shares were reflecting expectations for substantial passive inflows,” with an estimated $4.5 trillion of assets indexed to the S&P 500, [Baird analyst Ben Kallo] wrote in a note Tuesday. “We think the stock could be under pressure following the delay of S&P 500 inclusion, particularly from investors who bought ahead of the announcement expecting an opportunity to sell to passive funds.”


Good luck out there if you’re an investor!

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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I went to Best Buy last week, and the person who helped me at pickup was talking about how he had just bought TSLA because he could “finally afford it” after the split.

He seemed like a nice dude, and I wish him well... but it certainly felt like a blaring red warning sign that TSLA is over valued.