Tesla (TSLA) stock clocked solid gains Monday morning but reversed to a loss midmorning as CEO Elon Musk signaled he may stop running Twitter. Twitter users responded to a poll Musk posted Sunday evening on the social media platform. The majority of voters said Musk should step down from his role as Twitter chief executive.
During the weekend, Musk dominated the news cycle, as a number of journalists had their Twitter accounts suspended. After some back and forth on imposing new policies, on Sunday evening, Musk posted a poll to his Twitter account asking if he should “step down as head of Twitter.”
As of Monday morning, 17.5 million Twitter users had responded to the poll with 57.5% saying Musk should step down and 42.5% saying he should remain in the role.
“I will abide by the results of this poll,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Tesla stock shot up around 4% early Monday in premarket trade, but was down 0.2% by the time the market closed. rebounding after losing big last week. TSLA last week plunged more than 16% to its lowest point since Nov. 2020. It was also the worst weekly decline for Tesla stock since March 2020.
The early morning Tesla stock boost also came after Bloomberg reported late Friday that Tesla will build a new auto plant in northeastern Mexico. The company is expected to make an announcement in the coming days. However, it’s unclear what vehicles the factory may produce.
PepsiCo (PEP) is also planning to roll out a total of 100 Tesla Semi trucks in 2023 and already is deploying 36, Reuters reported Friday.
Musk’s Twitter Focus A Concern For Tesla Stock
Musk’s focus on Twitter has worried longtime Tesla stock bulls. Many are concerned it is distracting Musk from running Tesla and that the negative attention is weighing down Tesla stock.
Last week Musk sold another 22 million shares of Tesla stock for around $3.6 billion. Musk has now sold a total of around $40 billion of Tesla stock over the past year.
“The Twitter nightmare continues as Musk uses Tesla as his own ATM to keep funding the red ink at Twitter, which gets worse by the day as more advertisers flee the platform with controversy increasing, driven by Musk,” longtime Tesla bull analyst Daniel Ives wrote Thursday.
Ives, on Monday, added that Elon Musk appears to be “finally reading the room that has been growing frustration around this Twitter nightmare that grows worse by the day.”
Also on Monday, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch downgraded Tesla to perform from outperform. Rusch wrote the “increasing negative sentiment” on Twitter could linger long-term. This could limit its financial performance and continue to drag Tesla stock down, according to Rusch.
However, while Elon Musk said he would “abide” by the outcome of Twitter poll, there are still many unknowns.
“As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it,” Musk later tweeted Sunday before adding he has not picked a new CEO yet.
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” Musk said.
Please follow Kit Norton on Twitter @KitNorton for more coverage.
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