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Tesla stock plunges to new 52-week low as Elon Musk’s Twitter woes mount OLD

Tesla stock sank to hit a new 52-week low on Monday as chief executive Elon Musk’s rocky start to his Twitter regime appeared to spook investors.

Shares in the electric vehicle maker plunged more than 4 per cent to $196.66 on Monday after Mr Musk tweeted that “independent-minded” voters should support Republicans in Tuesday’s midterms.

The stock had recovering slightly to $198.40 by 3.40pm, but was still among the worst performers on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes on Monday.

The company has seen its value fall by 14 per cent since Mr Musk completed the $44bn acquisition of Twitter on 28 October.

Mr Musk has taken a scorched earth approach in his first days in charges of Twitter, firing half the social media company’s workforce, making wildly inconsistent statements on content moderation, trolling celebrities and suspending accounts that mock him.

His demands that users pay an $8 fee for a verified Twitter Blue account has raised questions about the financial viability of the social media company, which he admitted was losing $4m a day.

Tesla stock fell to a new 52-week low on Monday, and is down 14 per cent from when Musk completed the Twitter acquisition on 28 October (Google)
Tesla stock fell to a new 52-week low on Monday, and is down 14 per cent from when Musk completed the Twitter acquisition on 28 October (Google)

According to Barron’s, $200 represents a key price level for Tesla stock. Tesla’s shares have held above that figure after previous bad problems such as Covid lockdowns, rising interest rates and weakening consumer demand.

But once the $200 figure has been breached, traders told Barron’s that further bad news for the economy or Tesla could see the stock test $180 or even $100.

“Fundamentally, the weakness in Tesla stock has to be blamed on Twitter,” Barron’s senior writer Al Root wrote.

“More specifically, the weakness has to be blamed on Elon Musk, who now runs both companies.”

Speaking at the Baron Investment Conference on Friday, Mr Musk said his workload had shot up from “78 hours a week to probably 120” since he purchased Twitter.

After initially describing himself as Chief Twit, Mr Musk has since changed his “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator”.

Mr Musk sold nearly $7bn worth of Tesla stock in August as he got his finances in order to fund the Twitter purchase.

He also borrowed billions which are secured against his remaining stake in Tesla as part of the leveraged buyout.