Without any exceptionally good news for the electric automaker this morning, Tesla’s stock (TSLA) surged almost 5% within the first hour of trading – trending significantly higher than the market or the automotive industry (though Tesla is becoming much more than an automotive company, so maybe it shouldn’t be compared directly).
The vast majority of the company’s revenue still comes from selling vehicles and therefore, its stock price is still strongly affected by this part of the company’s business.
Oil prices reaching their highest level in over a year is certainly helping the company. Of course, correlation doesn’t imply causation, but Tesla’s stock has trended fairly close to oil prices in the past.
The fact is that Tesla is betting heavily on self-driving technology, and it was reported today that one of its main competitors, Google, is “scaling back” its self-driving car plans could be partly responsible for the surge in Tesla’s stock price.
The truth is that Google is only reportedly “giving up” on building its own car, something the company never claimed it was going to do in the first place, but some media reported that it was in the company’s plans. Now it seems that the company will focus on sharing its self-driving technology with automakers.
Nonetheless, Tesla’s stock reacted better to the news than the automotive segment:
Interestingly, the surge comes after short interest (money being bet against the stock) on Tesla is reaching an all-time high following the merger with SolarCity. Both stocks were heavily shorted individually and it was to be expected that it wouldn’t change much for the combined company.
The latest report came out Friday for data as of November 30th. The short interest represented 35.7 million shares of Tesla stock.
Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned that holding a short position against Tesla (TSLA) is “probably unwise.”
The last time Elon Musk commented on the short interest on Tesla’s stock, he warned that anyone holding a stock position against the company will have a “tsunami of hurt” coming for them. During the 12 following months, Tesla’s stock price increased by 461%, a lot of which was attributed to a short squeeze after Tesla reported its first quarterly profit in Q1 2013.