Stock market investors are feeling a lot better now than they did a month ago, but it's too early to conclude that everything's back on an even keel. Wall Street is still concerned about the same risks in the market, including inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and the geopolitical situation. As of 7:30 a.m. ET, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.22%) were down 4 points to 34,714. However, S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.94%) futures had gained 6 points to 4,545, and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -1.53%) futures had risen 49 points to 14,913.
Elon Musk has always been adroit at commanding an entire news cycle, and a couple of pieces of new information from the Tesla (TSLA -1.47%) CEO had investors talking on Monday morning. Tesla announced its quarterly production and delivery figures, which revealed a lot about some of the challenges that the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer faces. At the same time, Musk decided to make an investment of his own, buying a significant stake in social media company Twitter (TWTR). Read on to learn more about what Musk was involved in over the weekend.
Tesla makes some more cars
Shares of Tesla were up less than 1% on Monday morning in premarket trading. The electric vehicle pioneer managed to hold its own with its latest quarterly unit production and delivery figures, but the pause in growth reflected some of the difficulties that most manufacturing companies have had to deal with recently.
Tesla's first-quarter numbers were little changed from what the automaker announced three months earlier. In total, Tesla produced 305,407 vehicles between January and March 2022, down slightly from the 305,840 made in the fourth quarter of 2021. On the delivery front, Tesla sent 310,048 vehicles to customers during the first quarter. That was up from 308,600 from October to December 2021.
Most of the delivery gains stemmed from Tesla catching up with back orders of Model S and X vehicles. The fourth quarter of 2021 had seen production of more than 13,100 of those higher-end models against just 11,750 deliveries. This quarter, the numbers reversed, with 14,724 deliveries despite just 14,218 new vehicles produced. That meant deliveries of mass-market Model 3 and Y vehicles actually fell by more than 1,500 for the period.
Tesla cited ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns for its lack of growth. Given the big declines in auto sales among big-name automakers in March, Tesla's figures seemed to hold up well by comparison.
Musk is all a-Twitter
Meanwhile, shares of Twitter soared 24% in premarket trading. The move came after Musk filed a required 13G filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that announced his taking a substantial stake in the social media company.
The filing revealed that Musk now owns nearly 73.5 million shares of Twitter stock. That block of shares represented 9.2% of Twitter and was worth about $2.9 billion based on Friday's closing price, and Musk can already boast hundreds of millions of dollars in paper gains based on the premarket move higher.
Musk's relationship with Twitter has been two-sided. On one hand, the Tesla CEO has enough of a fan base that every one of his tweets commands attention and often moves markets, especially in areas like cryptocurrency. Yet Musk has also been vocal in his criticism of Twitter policies as well as SEC attempts to regulate his tweeting activity.
It's notable that Musk chose to disclose his stake on Schedule 13G, which typically indicates a more passive stance from an investor who doesn't intend to take an activist role to prompt significant changes in the company. Nevertheless, the gains in the stock price suggest that shareholders see Musk's purchase as an opening move in what could be a longer game for the Tesla leader as he relates to Twitter.