Tesla Shares Fall Again Following Musk’s Stock-Sale Tweet

Tuesday’s losses put Tesla’s stock down more than 11 percent this week.,

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Tesla shares slide again as Musk’s stock-sale tweet continues to reverberate.

Elon Musk in Berlin last month. He pledged over the weekend to sell about $20 billion of the stock.Credit…Patrick Pleul/DPA, via Associated Press

Nov. 9, 2021, 12:39 p.m. ET

Shares of Tesla fell sharply for a second consecutive day, dropping about 7 percent in early trading Tuesday, in a continuing shakeout after Elon Musk, the company’s founder, suggested on Twitter that he would sell 10 percent of his stake in Tesla.

Tuesday’s losses put the stock down more than 11 percent this week, nearly erasing the series of gains it had seen in the two weeks after Tesla’s market value exceeded $1 trillion for the first time.

On Saturday, Mr. Musk posted a poll to Twitter asking if he should sell some of his Tesla shares, saying that he would “abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.” About 58 percent of respondents voted for him to sell shares.

Mr. Musk owns 17 percent of Tesla’s shares, a stake worth about $200 billion at the time he tweeted the poll. His weekend tweets were a pledge to sell about $20 billion of the stock.

Regardless of the Twitter poll, Mr. Musk may soon have needed to sell a big chunk of his shares anyway, Stephen Gandel reports for The New York Times’s DealBook. That’s because Mr. Musk holds nearly 23 million stock options that have vested and will expire in August 2022.

Most stock grants allow executives to avoid paying taxes for years, and perhaps forever, as long as they don’t sell the shares they get from converting the option. But the structure of Mr. Musk’s options means that they might not entirely qualify for the preferential tax treatment, and he could owe more than $10 billion in taxes.

Separately, on Monday Mr. Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk, disclosed in a regulatory filing that he had sold about $109 million worth of shares in Tesla on Friday.

Here’s what else is happening in markets:

The S&P 500 was down about 0.5 percent, on track for its first daily decline after eight straight days of gains.

Oil prices were slightly higher, with West Texas Intermediate crude up about 1 percent to $82.72 a barrel.

Yields on government bonds were lower, with the yield on 10-year Treasury notes down as much as 0.09 percent, or nine basis points, to 1.42 percent.

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