Everything he touches turns to gold. Even his slightest gestures attended to. His tweets? They just blow markets through the roof!
The moment Elon Musk tweeted “Gamestonk!!” and attached a link to the WallStreetBets Reddit thread, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO proved how he is the ‘real deal’.
His tweet, a wordplay on a combination GameStop and “stonks” (a slang for stocks), set the GameStop shares ablaze with a surge.
The impact of the tweet can be gauged by how GameStop’s after-hours outpour was as high as 93% during a single rollicking trading session, with the videogame retailer’s stock being steered on by traders on Wallstreetbets, many of them reportedly buying volatile call options.
The herds of amateur investors on Reddit, all ardent supporters of Tesla and other hyper-volatile stocks, have had a big hand in the developments which have unfolded.
Gamestop shares which were falling for years suddenly started soaring for no reason. Until 21 January 2021, the stocks were trading at $43 and then suddenly it started rising leaving all the experts blind. It peaked to $413.42 on 20 January and finally closed at $325 on Friday, January 29 2021.
Wall Street experts were wondering what made the sudden rise in the stock of Game Stop – a company which is almost at the verge of collapse?
A Reddit group or “subreddit” called WallStreetBets, boasting 4.7 million members, has been the online rallying spot for those urging people to buy and hold GameStop shares. The group is largely known to take interest in stocks that are believed to have unfavourable opinion on Wall Street – that attracts the eyes of short sellers.
Short Selling is a popular way of share trading where investors bet on stocks that are bound to go down. In simple words, the more stocks will go down, the more money those short-sellers will make.
GameStop was one of the highly popular shorted stock with 71.66 million shares, worth $4.66 billion, were shorted.
The influence of Elon Musk endorsed subreddit WallStreetBets is clearly on the upswing, as amateur investors have been piling further into niche stocks, which has sent professional short sellers on the Wall Street scurrying to cover losing bets, large thanks to ‘Papa Musk’.
The efflux for GameStop has been one of gigantic proportions. The stock prices have increased more than 16x to $325.98 from $19 since January 12, even as they breached the $200 mark in the early last week.
While the game of GameStop was already in place by WallStreetBets, the stock price of GameStop were hovering $147. And then the Elon’s tweet created a volcano impact. The very next day the stock price of GameStop jumped to new heights tough $347 apiece.
Boom! Short sellers were killed by Elon’s one tweet only.
Concerns about far-reaching influencing are only justified, seeing as how trading in GameStop stock was halted for volatility nine times on Monday and five more times on Tuesday.
“Generational shift” in how people think about investing their money or not, as John Patrick Lee, ETF manager at VanEck believes, some people stand on the cusp of losing a lot of money if GameStop’s share price comes crashing down.
According to analytics from the firm S3 Partners, short- sellers in GameStop are down $5 billion on a mark-to-market, net-of-financing basis in 2021, which is inclusive of a staggering $876 million of losses, after Musk’s intervention. Clearly proving how the richest man in the world can enrich himself even more with just a mere tweet.
The GameStop saga is just another chapter in Musk’s legendary tweeting career. Let us traverse through some of his most notable feats through the social media platform which helped him acquire such a high status in the market doings.
Musk’s accomplished tweeting history
This is not the first time that Musk’s tweets have sparked off such a wanton frenzy.
The same was with Bitcoin’s value jumping over 20% to $38,566 after Musk, changed his personal Twitter bio to #bitcoin, fuelling speculation that he had bought more of the crypto-currency.
An avid gamer, when the billionaire appeared to prompt shares in CD Projekt (makers of Cyberpunk 2077 computer game), stocks bounded to more than 12% after his tweet that Tesla’s new Model S Plaid car would allow passengers to play the game.
Etsy has been another benefactor of the Tesla CEO’s tweets, which led to shares in the online craft marketplace grow sizeably by 9%.
For all the milestones that Musk has achieved in the market with his tweets, the ‘tweet-whisperer’ has also faced the wrath of the SEC in the previous years.
Casually tweeting about Tesla’s stock in August 2018, when he wished on the platform to take Tesla private at $420 per share after securing funding, it got the SEC’s attention. Musk and Tesla were forced to cough a $20 million fine apiece to the SEC to settle the suit. Since then, Musk has only submitted his public statements about Tesla’s finances and other topics by getting it vetted by his legal counsel.
Even though less flippant in the aftermath of the rap, Musk’s Twitter activity has had a particularly palpable effect this week. Dabbling in shifting stocks, crypto-currencies for a while to ratcheting up Signal’s user base, Musk has earned the tag of “influencer” in capital markets.
But do these seemingly light-hearted tweets stoke a debate on legitimacy?
The debate for legitimacy rages on
Freetrade analyst Dan Lane was almost poetic about Musk’s ability to move the market, and that it may be finally time for the regulators to have a closer look at the laws.
Several other analysts have voiced their fears over such volatile trading activity. Fuelled majorly by opinions, where there appears to be a negligible corporate activity to justify the price movement is what merits an SEC investigation in their eyes.
While many are leaning on the fence by saying that his position as an innovator allows him to wield such market presence, there have been plenty who warn against the impending devastating consequences for retail investors too.
While the GameStop saga and Musk’s hand in the same will bring the debate to boil sooner rather than later, it has cemented Musk’s status as the undisputed hustler of markets.
All these unfoldings lead us to a question – Is Elon possessing way too much power than any human being should have?