For Tesla bulls, Dec. 9 was supposed to be a cause for celebration. Instead, it was a fiasco.
CEO Elon Musk’s followers wanted a big reveal, a stock-pump or whatever might provide a much-needed boost to their portfolio after Musk liquidated a portion of his own Tesla stake. What they got instead was a sharp drop in the share price—and suggestions from the Tesla CEO himself that he was ready to join “the Great Resignation.”
Followers had speculated this date—shrouded in mystery and the product of what seemed to be pseudoscientific numerology—could mark the start of production for the popular Cybertruck, the reveal of the much anticipated $25,000 Tesla hatchback, or even an end to the steady, drip-drip news flow about Musk’s share sales.
But chief among the rumors had been the hope for another five-to-one stock split to follow the August 2020 announcement, popularized initially by well-known Tesla bull Gary Black.
Instead of something that would send the stock to the moon, Musk dumped another SEC filing on the market revealing he just cashed in on another chunk of shares, later adding insult to injury by tweeting that he was thinking of quitting his various jobs such as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX to become an “influencer full-time.”
After declines of roughly 6% on Thursday, the stock remained under pressure in early trading on Friday, down more than 1%.
Just where exactly the significance of the date came from cannot be verified with any certainty, but it emerged from the community of Tesla fans. Many followers believe Musk likes to hide Easter eggs in his Twitter feed, sending out secret messages only the most devoted will decipher.
Even Musk’s infamous “funding secured” tweet in these followers’ view contained a clear reference to his use of cannabis, when he said he was taking Tesla private at $420 a share—a number that holds special meaning among marijuana users.
In the run-up to his Saturday Night Live performance in May, Dogecoin investors piled into the dog-themed token in the belief he would single-handedly lift the price to dollar parity by preaching its gospel in his skits. Instead, the coin tanked after the comedy show hosts—and even Musk’s own mother—made fun of the cryptocurrency instead.
While this is now the second time he’s disappointed his followers, they cannot say they were not forewarned.
Asked during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit this week what investors should expect on Dec. 9, Musk said he is just as stumped.
“This is just one of those memes that, I don’t know, it came out of nowhere,” he replied. “As far as I know, nothing, but maybe something will happen that I’m not aware of.”
But that never stops the feverish speculation, given Musk considers himself a jokester who likes to play pranks. As Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Barron’s: “It’s Tesla, so who knows.”
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