What happened

Shares of Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO (NYSE:NIO) were trading lower on Tuesday morning, amid a broad-based sell-off of technology stocks as investors continued to react to news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. 

As of 10:45 a.m. EST, NIO's American depositary shares were down about 10.1% from Monday's closing price.

So what

Before we dive in, it's important to keep this in mind: NIO, like other electric-vehicle stocks, has had a torrid run in 2020.

Through Monday, the stock was up nearly 1,000% on the year. 

NIO Chart

NIO data by YCharts.

That run has been driven in part by fundamentals -- NIO is a much healthier company now than it was in January -- but much of it has been driven by intense investor interest in electric vehicles, following a spectacular run by category leader Tesla earlier in 2020.

More broadly, many technology-related stocks have had a strong year, as investors who were flush with cash, but reluctant to invest in many traditional businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sought stocks with longer-term growth potential that was unlikely to be unaffected by the crisis. 

It's worth nothing that NIO was far from the only electric-vehicle stock in retreat on Tuesday morning. Also as of 10:45 a.m., Tesla was down 5.6% from Monday's close, NIO's domestic Chinese rivals Li Auto and Xpeng were down 10.9% and 6.8%, respectively, and U.S. electric-truck start-up Lordstown Motors was down 9.9%.  

A blue NIO EC6, an upscale electric crossover SUV with a sporty coupe-like roofline

NIO hit several milestones in the third quarter, including the first deliveries of its new EC6 sports crossover. Image source: NIO.

Now what

For auto investors holding NIO's shares, the good news is that the company will report its third-quarter earnings before the market opens next Tuesday, Nov. 17. That's good news because the report will almost certainly be a good one: NIO set a sales record and hit key milestones in its growth plan in the quarter, and its chief financial officer has hinted that cost-control measures implemented earlier this year are bearing fruit.

Will it be enough to send the stock back up? Tune in next Tuesday to find out. 


This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.