It was less than three weeks ago when we posted "Tesla Shorts Refuse To Cover Despite Suffering Massive Losses" in which we wrote that "Tesla shares rocketed higher on August 2, by almost $50, the day after the company reported its second-quarter results" and added that "despite the stock rising more than 15% immediately after the report, WSJ analytics showed that short sellers are standing their ground in the name despite an estimated $1.7 billion paper loss resulting from the violent move higher."
At the start of the month, and heading into Tesla earnings, there was about $10.5 billion in short interest according to S3 Partners. And as the below chart shows, Tesla has remained the most heavily shorted stock in the U.S. both before and after its report.
Of course, the pain for the shorts only spiked on August 7 when first the Saudi Sov. Wealth Fund announced a 5% stake, promptly followed by Musk tweeting his intention to take the company private at $420, which sent the stock just shy of its all time highs.
Still, the shorts refused to cover, because as the FT reported on Sunday, while the buyout plan pitched by Musk may have been nothing more than a way to "burn the shorts", something the SEC is now allegedly investigating, less than 4 per cent of the short positions have been closed since his tweet.
And in retrospect, good thing they did not because as the bizarre events in the subsequent days demonstrated, Musk's market manipulative tweet - it has since emerged that funding was not secured - may have been the catalyst to not only an SEC investigation, but the last nail of what has been one long, at times surreal emotional collapse for the Tesla CEO.
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