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Daily Brief - Musk: To sell or not to sell? (Nov 9, 2021)

There is a worrying divergence developing in the market. No, it’s not a technical indicator. Or a breadth signal. All of those seem - for now, anyway - to be more or less confirming the record run.


Alas, as markets plumb new highs, participant communication etiquette is hitting new lows.


After tweeting “I am taking Tesla private” that earned not more than a frown from the SEC, and elevating dogecoin - briefly - to stratosphere, CEO Elon Musk turned to Twitter in a poll that ostensibly decided the fate of a 10% share of his Tesla holdings.


Musk's poll came in the wake of the U.S. Senate Democrats proposed tax on stocks of billionaires, and aimed to fill a loophole that allowed the rich to indefinitely defer capital gains taxes.


Don’t get us wrong. Financial markets could definitely use a better sense of humor. But in the comedy department, this wasn’t the strongest showing.


In technical terms Musk’s announcement is known as a share overhang, and it is something that would typically force the share price down. It did.


It also renewed questions about whether he is in compliance with a 2018 settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that requires material tweets about the company to be vetted by a lawyer. The SEC found Musk violated that agreement in 2019 and tightened it.


So why is the stock not down more? (As of this writing, it had closed down just a shade under 5%.)


The high-profile CEO has made bold statements on Twitter in the past which have later been reversed—like saying Tesla would take Bitcoin as payment, before backtracking on the plan.


But most importantly - what was the point of it all? Only Lorde Edge knows.