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Why Tesla Stock Fell Sharply on Wednesday

By Daniel Sparks - May 19, 2021 at 12:05PM

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Is Bitcoin's falling price weighing on Tesla shares?

What happened

Shares of Tesla (TSLA -2.05%) were hit hard on Wednesday. The electric car maker's stock fell as much as 5.3%, though the stock has recovered some since then. As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, shares were down 3.9%.

The stock's pullback likely has to do with a combination of many growth stocks like Tesla falling sharply at market open and cryptocurrency prices plummeting.

A chart showing a stock price falling

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Bitcoin tumbled 30% to around $30,000 at one point today. Tesla has bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, and some investors may have been concerned with the automaker's stake in the cryptocurrency.

But Bitcoin prices have recovered some during the trading day, with the asset now trading above $38,000. Crypto's recovery may even be due to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said in a tweet this morning using emojis that the company has "diamond hands" -- an internet expression that signals an investor's willingness to hold a stock. Crypto traders may take this to mean that Tesla will not be selling its Bitcoin and they may also speculate that it will help the cryptocurrency trading find a floor.

Now what

Tesla investors should keep in mind that Bitcoin only represents a fraction of the company's market capitalization. With the automaker and green energy company valued at more than $500 billion, its Bitcoin stake shouldn't have much of an impact on how investors value the company. Indeed, even the company's cash balance of $17.1 billion is much greater than its Bitcoin stake.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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