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Tesla shares fall 4.5% ahead of first day in the S&P 500

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Tesla shares fall 4.5% ahead of first day in the S&P 500


Tesla Inc. shares fell 4.5% in premarket trading on Monday as the electric vehicle maker marks its trading debut on the S&P 500 Index.

Its shares have catapulted 731% this year in anticipation of the historic inclusion, making it the biggest company ever to be added to the benchmark. The EV pioneer will also be joining the S&P 100, replacing oil and gas firm Occidental Petroleum Corp., which fell 7.5% premarket.

“Welcome to the S&P 500 Club,” said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives in a report. The index addition marks a “defining chapter of success” for the company he said.

Futures contracts on the S&P 500 were trading down 0.5%, following European stocks lower after several major countries moved to suspend travel from the U.K. amid concerns about a new strain of Covid-19.

Traders who spent most of the year pushing up shares of Tesla in anticipation of surging demand from index funds saw its climax Friday, as frantic purchases by passive managers drove the shares up almost 5% as exchanges closed. At the end of the day, Tesla shares closed at an all-time high. More than $150 billion worth of Tesla shares traded on Friday, ahead of the index inclusion.

“There is strong precedence for positive returns for stocks prior to S&P 500 inclusion and post announcement, but very limited precedent for near term out performance post inclusion,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a note earlier this month.

Market strategists have been divided on how the addition of the famously volatile stock would impact the benchmark gauge. According to Susquehanna quantitative derivative strategist Souhow Yao, the inclusion will have a limited impact on implied volatility, and that if Tesla was added a month ago, volatility for the S&P 500 would have actually decreased.

On the other hand, Interactive Brokers’ Chief Strategist Steve Sosnick said Tesla’s historic volatility suggests daily moves of about 4% up or down, and at its current market value can end up budging the index by about 2 points.

–With assistance from Beth Mellor.

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