Tesla stock fell to a two-year low after Musk banned journalists from Twitter
Major Elon Musk Tesla stock hit a new two-year low of $150.04 on Friday morning, sparking renewed fears that the billionaire’s latest acquisition and chaotic running of Twitter are crumbling the solid foundation of his financial empire.
The stock dive occurred the morning after Musk kicked several high-profile journalists off the platform, and after Musk spent the better part of this week offloading more than 22 million shares of Tesla stock, worth more than $3.5 billion. Musk has now sold nearly $40 billion in shares of the electric car company in the past year.
Musk’s tumultuous takeover of Twitter, a deal announced in April and finalized in October, coincided with a really bad year for tech markets. But Tesla’s performance was more than 20 points below the performance of the technology sector index (NDXT) on Nasdaq. As of Friday, the company is down 57.12 percent year-to-date, compared to NDXT’s decline of 35.53 percent. The company’s value has fallen from more than $1 trillion at the start of the year, to less than $500 billion, and it cost Musk the title of “world’s richest man” in the process.
Friday’s drop came after Musk stopped working The New York Times Reporter Ryan Mack Washington PostMashable’s Drew Harwell, Mashable’s Matt Bender, The Intercept’s CNN correspondent Donnie O’Sullivan, and The Intercept’s Maika Lee, freelance reporter Aaron Robar, political commentator Keith Olbermann, and Twitter’s freelance journalist Tony Webster. Most of them were critical of Musk’s content editing decisions. Earlier this week, Musk recklessly rewrote Twitter’s content policies to make any posts including real-time location data an unblockable offense. The shift in policy at the platform level appears to have been created retroactively to justify the platform’s removal of Jack Sweeney’s accounts, which tracked the movements of private jets and planes through publicly available flight data. Musk accused journalists covering Sweeney’s ban of publishing “my exact real-time location, and essentially the coordinates of the assassination, in direct violation of Twitter’s terms of service.” Rolling Stone He did not know of any instances in which journalists posted coordinates directly to Musk’s website.
Throughout the week, investors called on Musk to find someone else to run Twitter’s day-to-day operations, and to shift his focus back to Tesla. On Wednesday, Liu Kuguan, the electric company’s third-largest investor, tweeted that Musk had “abandoned Tesla” and that the company had “no working CEO.” After the press purge of the platform, investor Joe Cirincione tweet a call Musk left Twitter, accusing him of “killing the company with his antics.”
The company itself has admitted that it “relies heavily on the services of Elon Musk, the Technoking of Tesla, and our CEO” to run the company. If investors have taken notice, then the big financial institutions should also be on the lookout. Goldman Sachs lowered its price targets for Tesla earlier this week, citing the increasingly “polarizing” nature of the Tesla brand given Musk’s Twitter post, and recommended the company shift to “core attributes of sustainability and technology.”
Musk also faces the threat of sanctions abroad. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova on Friday accused the company of violating the EU’s Digital Services Act and Media Freedom Act by “arbitrarily suspending journalists”.
“There are red lines,” she said chirp. “And penalties, soon.”
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