Elon Musk says Tesla stock price is ‘too high,’ continues criticism of coronavirus shutdowns

Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently said Friday morning on Twitter that his company's stock price is "too high," and he appeared to criticize government-ordered shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

While Tesla observers scrambled to assess whether Musk's tweets were authentic or whether his account had been hacked, investors took the development seriously. Tesla's stock was down 11.5% to $692.14 at 12:02 p.m.

The company's shares had more than doubled from their coronavirus low of $350.51 on March 18.

Production at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, has been shut down for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But first-quarter sales of the company's electric cars were solid, as Tesla posted a stronger-than-expected earnings report Wednesday, which helped drive gains in the stock price.

Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request seeking confirmation of or comment on Musk's tweets.

Get me out of here!:Americans flee crowded cities amid COVID-19, consider permanent moves

Baby Yoda face mask?:Disney introduces face masks featuring characters

Musk has been critical of the coronavirus response in recent weeks, repeatedly questioning the seriousness of the pandemic and saying Americans should be allowed to go out.

"Now give people back their FREEDOM," he said Friday in one of a flurry of posts, including tweets quoting snippets of the "Star Spangled Banner."

His tweets came on the same day that shutdown critics are planning protests throughout California.

Musk also claimed he's planning to sell "almost all my physical possessions" and "will own no house." Musk has been known to crash on his friends' couches in the past as he transitions between his two main companies, Tesla and SpaceX.

Musk has been known to post bizarre tweets and make comments that would seem strange coming from most heads of major corporations.

In August 2018, he tweeted that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private for $420 per share. But it was later revealed that Tesla had not officially secured any financing for such a deal and Musk relinquished his chairmanship as a result of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that required him to get the company's approval for any market-moving tweets.

It was not immediately clear Friday whether Musk had authorization to tweet about the company's stock price. SEC representatives did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

AFP/Getty ImagesTesla founder Elon Musk presents the new Roadster electric sports vehicle at Tesla's Los Angeles design centre,  Nov. 16, 2017.

His criticism of the coronavirus lockdowns fall in line with his recent comments on the matter.

"To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom," he said Wednesday on an earnings call.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/05/01/elon-musk-tweets-coronavirus-stock-price/3065040001/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »