Tesla climbs as other EV makers hit brakes after rally
Published: Nov 18, 2021 08:03 PM
Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory Photo: Courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory Photo: Courtesy of Tesla

Shares of Tesla climbed for a second day after Chief Executive Elon Musk sold more of his shares, while other high-flying electric vehicle makers hit the brakes on a euphoric rally.

Luxury electric car maker Lucid Group Inc dropped more than 5 percent, while Rivian Automotive Inc tumbled 15 percent, down for the first time since its blockbuster market debut last week made the company the second-most-valuable US automaker.

Lucid's market value eclipsed that of Ford on Tuesday after the company said it is confident of producing 20,000 of its upcoming Lucid Air sedans in 2022.

Analysts said Rivian's stunning show in its initial public offering lifted demand for other EV stocks.

Tesla climbed 3.25 percent to $1,089.01, as investors took in stride Musk's sale of another $973 million in stock to pay taxes after exercising options. 

Investors exchanged $33.8 billion worth of Tesla shares on Wednesday, more than any other company on Wall Street and more than double the turnover of Apple, the second most traded company, according to Refinitiv.

Musk has sold a combined 8.2 million shares since November 8, making up about half the 10 percent of his Tesla shares he pledged to sell earlier this month. Gross proceeds of his stock sales are about $8.8 billion. 

EV manufacturers could benefit from significant, new EV subsidies from governments, including US President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" spending plan which calls for expanded tax credits for individuals and businesses to buy electric vehicles.

Sono Group NV, which makes electric cars integrated with solar panels, surged 155 percent in its Nasdaq debut.

Canoo climbed 3.35 percent after the electric pickup truck maker said it would start US production in the final quarter of 2022, after saying in June that production would begin in 2023.

"It feels to me almost like earlier in the year with the meme stock craze, where you're getting these names that are coming out and the retail loves them. And they've got a nice story behind them," said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

Lucid, Tesla and Rivian were among the top-most discussed stocks on investor-focused website, signaling interest from small-time investors.

Electric vehicle makers have also drawn huge interest from options traders.

Tesla, Lucid, Rivian and blank-check company Gores Guggenheim, which is in a deal to take Swedish electric-car maker Polestar public, were among the top 20 most actively traded names in the options market this week, according to Trade Alert data.

The recent surge in EV stocks has spooked short sellers betting the prices of those companies' shares would fall, leading many of the traders to close their bets to avoid greater losses, said Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of predictive analytics at S3 Partners.

"We've seen short covering in virtually all the EV stocks," Dusaniwsky said. "Most EV short sellers are incurring mark-to-market losses for the year."