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Why Tesla Stock Fell Thursday

By Daniel Sparks - Dec 20, 2018 at 5:42PM

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Volatility continues for Tesla stock.

What happened

Shares of electric-car company Tesla (TSLA 7.43%) fell sharply on Thursday, adding to the stock's recent volatility. Tesla shares declined as much as 6.3%. By the time the market closed, the stock was down about 5.3%.

The stock's decline was propelled by a broader market sell-off, extending the week's losses since the Federal Reserve's guidance on interest rates Wednesday. 

Tesla vehicles, including the Model 3, Tesla Semi, Model S, and Model X

Image source: Tesla.

So what

The overall market tumbled on Thursday, with the S&P 500 declining about 1.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declining 1.6%. Many high-growth tech stocks like Tesla were slammed even harder.

The market turned red on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the Federal Reserve bumped short-term interest rates higher for the fourth time in 2018 and said increases may be more moderate in 2019.

Tesla stock has been selling off over the past week, but its performance continues to outpace the overall market for the year. Tesla stock is up about 2% in 2018, outperforming the S&P 500's 8% decline over the same period. This stock's outperformance makes it a good candidate for investors who are looking to take some gains amid this market sell-off.

Now what

Tesla recently surprised investors with a meaningful profit and $881 million in free cash flow, highlighting the progress it's making with its Model 3 production ramp up. But investors will be looking to see whether or not the company's momentum can continue when the automaker reports its vehicle deliveries for its fourth quarter. Tesla typically reports deliveries for its fourth quarter a few days after the new year begins.

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