What happened

Shares of Rivian Automotive (RIVN -12.05%) spiked after the electric vehicle (EV) maker reported third-quarter earnings on Nov. 9, but have been sliding ever since. Investors are giving them a bounce today, however. After an early rise of nearly 5% on Wednesday, Rivian shares were trading 3.2% higher as of 1:07 p.m. ET.  

So what

Two things probably have investors feeling like the stock has hit a near-term bottom. Earlier this week, Barron's reported that the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) -- the nation's second-largest public pension fund by assets -- doubled its position in Rivian. CalSTRS managed nearly $300 billion in assets as of the end of October, and is widely followed by investors. The fund added 290,467 shares of the RV maker in the third quarter to bring its total to more than 590,000. 

Perhaps a more important catalyst for Rivian shares today, however, was the interview that CEO RJ Scaringe gave at equity research firm Redburn's 2022 CEO conference on Tuesday.

three Rivian electric trucks rounding a corner on a scenic highway.

Rivian pickups. Image source: Rivian Automotive.

Now what

Rivian stock popped after its most recent earnings report when it reaffirmed its 2022 production target and said demand remains robust. Scaringe reiterated Rivian is seeing a rising order backlog that will take the company into 2024, EV news website Electrek reported in a summary of the interview. Scaringe also pointed to opportunities for higher selling values through vehicle options and his comfort with supply chain agreements to help the company work toward profitability. 

While Scaringe acknowledged ongoing challenges that led to increasing net losses in the third quarter, he said the company has a good understanding of those challenges.

What investors probably liked the most were the improvements he highlighted for Rivian's R2 platform that it plans to launch in 2026. The CEO says that its technology will improve the customer experience and help Rivian achieve higher volume at a lower price point. That optimistic outlook seems to be shared by investors today.