Tesla's soaring stock mints Elon Musk $17B this year

The gains are biting short-sellers who expected Tesla shares to fall

Tesla’s surging stock price has minted CEO Elon Musk a fortune this year.

The electric-car maker rose as much as 20.5 percent on Tuesday to $940.13, adding another $5.4 billion to the value of Musk's holdings, which now total $32 billion. Shares had already surged 86 percent this year through Monday, boosting the entrepreneur's stake by $12 billion.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 628.16 -46.74 -6.93%

As of Monday, Musk’s net worth was $41 billion, making him the 22nd wealthiest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index. He owns 34 million shares of Tesla.

“We think what’s happening is China is inserting massive amounts of liquidity directly into their stock market,” GLJ Research CEO and founder Gordon Johnson told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday.  “Everyone in China is sitting home and they’re buying stocks,” including Tesla.

TESLA SHORT-SELLERS MAULED WITH $2.5B LOSS

The automaker's stock has surged as much as 45 percent since Friday’s close alone. The gains correspond with Chinese markets reopening following the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has now sickened more than 20,600 and killed 425.

While the gains are welcome news to Musk and other shareholders, one group that’s not happy is short-sellers, or traders betting that shares will fall.

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They had lost more than $8.3 billion, or nearly half of Musk’s 2020 gain, this year before Tuesday, according to data from the financial-analytics firm S3 Partners.

"We love Tesla and promised never to be short again," Citron Research, the firm run by short-seller Andrew Left, posted on Twitter on Tuesday. "But when the computers start driving the market, we believe even Elon would short the stock here if he was a fund manager."