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Why NIO, XPeng, and Li Auto Stocks Are Down Today

By John Rosevear - Mar 5, 2021 at 11:42AM

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It's not all about Tesla, but it's not not about Tesla either.

What happened

Shares of three prominent Chinese electric-vehicle makers were trading lower on Friday, amid a broad U.S. market sell-off of high-flying technology stocks.

Here's where things stood as of 11:15 a.m. EST, relative to Thursday's closing prices. 

  • Li Auto (LI -1.59%) was down about 10.3%.
  • NIO (NIO -1.66%) was down about 13.7%.
  • XPeng (XPEV -4.60%) was down about 11.1%.

So what

Just about all of the hot electric-vehicle and related stocks have been selling off this week, in part because of concerns about rising interest rates and in part because of an ongoing selldown of the category leader, Tesla (TSLA 1.24%). (Tesla was down about 10.1% as of 11:15 a.m. EST on Friday.)

A lime-green Xpeng P7 Wing, an electric sedan with doors that open upwards.

The new limited-edition Wing version of XPeng's P7 has kept consumer interest high. Image source: XPeng.

The rate on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond has been rising, stoking investor concerns about potential interest rate increases. While the 10-year rate is still quite low by historical standards, it hit its highest levels in over a year this week. 

10 Year Treasury Rate Chart

10 Year Treasury Rate data by YCharts.

As for Tesla, some of the issues driving its stock lower are unique to Tesla, and not reflective of the broader opportunity for electric-vehicle makers. But given that Tesla's huge run-up last year was a key driver of investor interest in all three of the companies here, it's not surprising to see them fall as Tesla sells off.

Now what

All that said, the fundamentals haven't really changed. China's market for electric vehicles is nearly certain to grow dramatically over the next several years; all three of these companies have competitive vehicles in production, and have posted rising sales; and while all three are still some distance from profitability, all have balance sheets that should be strong enough to weather this market storm. 

One last note: XPeng will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings before the U.S. markets open on Monday, March 8. Li Auto and NIO have already reported. 

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Stocks Mentioned

XPeng Inc. Stock Quote
XPeng Inc.
XPEV
$30.28 (-4.60%) $-1.46
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
TSLA
$681.79 (1.24%) $8.37
Nio Inc. Stock Quote
Nio Inc.
NIO
$21.36 (-1.66%) $0.36
Li Auto Inc. Stock Quote
Li Auto Inc.
LI
$37.70 (-1.59%) $0.61

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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