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Why Tesla Stock Slipped Today

By Rich Smith – Aug 6, 2021 at 1:16PM

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The Biden White House just delivered an epic diss to Tesla, and Elon Musk is not happy about it.

What happened

Shares of electric car kingpin Tesla (TSLA -1.44%) hit a bit of a bump in the road today, falling 1.9% through 12:12 p.m. EDT after scoring seven straight days of improved stock prices previously.

I see a couple of reasons this might be happening.

Cartoon character sliding down a red arrow

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

First and foremost, there was Tesla's conspicuous absence from President Biden's electric vehicle summit Thursday. Representatives from Ford (F -0.75%), General Motors (GM -1.98%), and Stellantis (STLA -0.53%) were all invited and present -- but Tesla was not.

Did the president just get confused by Stellantis' ticker symbol (which is almost identical to Tesla's) and think he had invited Tesla when he hadn't? Perhaps. But CNN hit upon a potentially even more disturbing explanation:

Noting that representatives from the United Auto Workers union were also present at the ceremony (and that Tesla operates a non-union shop), White House press secretary Jen Psaki quipped that Ford, GM, and Stellantis "are the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions" as to why Tesla was not invited.  

Whatever the reason, Tesla was most decidedly not on hand at the White House to hear President Biden proclaim his intention to have electric cars make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030.

Now what

This diss quickly elicited from Elon Musk the following tweet:  

And this leads to our second potential reason Tesla investors are upset today. As TheFly.com reported yesterday, investment bank Bernstein recently mused publicly on the possibility that Elon Musk might be preparing to resign as CEO.

Musk said on Tesla's most recent post-earnings conference call that he would not be appearing on such calls in the future. And building on that observation, Bernstein reminded investors of the CEO's repeated complaints about the demands of serving as CEO of Tesla, and about his multiple commitments to companies other than Tesla (SpaceX, The Boring Company, and so on), ultimately concluding that there's a real possibility that at some time in the future, Musk might leave the company, and take his Elon magic with him.

And if that makes Tesla investors feel just a little bit nervous today, I think that's understandable.

Rich Smith 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.

Stocks Mentioned

Tesla Stock Quote
Tesla
TSLA
$179.82 (-1.44%) $-2.63
Ford Motor Stock Quote
Ford Motor
F
$13.28 (-0.75%) $0.10
General Motors Stock Quote
General Motors
GM
$38.02 (-1.98%) $0.77
Stellantis  Stock Quote
Stellantis
STLA
$15.17 (-0.53%) $0.08

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

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