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Tesla appears poised to electrify S&P 500

Wall Street’s most controversial stock may be about to go mainstream. Tesla Inc appears on the verge of joining the S&P 500, a major accomplishment for Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk that would unleash a flood of new demand for the electric car maker’s shares, which have already surged 500% over the past year.

Higher-than-expected second-quarter vehicle deliveries, announced last week, have analysts increasingly confident the company will show a profit in its quarterly report on July 22. That would mark Tesla’s first cumulative four-quarter profit, a key hurdle to be added to the S&P 500.

With a market capitalization of about $250 billion, Tesla would be among the most valuable companies ever added to the S&P 500, larger than 95% of the index’s existing components. It would have a major impact on investment funds that track the index.

However, short sellers are betting $19 billion that Tesla’s shares will fall, the largest short level on record for a U.S. company, in dollars, according to S3 Partners.

Bears point to looming competition from Porsche, General Motors and other longer-established rivals. They are also skeptical of Tesla’s corporate governance under Musk, who in 2018 agreed to pay $20 million and step down as chairman to settle fraud charges.

Traders betting Tesla could be added to the S&P 500 have almost certainly contributed to the recent rally. However, Bianco warned that the stock could reverse if Tesla is not added to the S&P 500.

Tesla appears poised to electrify S&P 500, Reuters, Jul 10

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