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Tesla's move to S&P 500 could boost flows by $8 billion – Goldman Sachs

Tesla Inc. is poised for as much as $8 billion in flows from mutual funds when the electric car company is formally listed on the S&P 500 on Dec. 21, according to Goldman Sachs equity strategists.

Of 189 large-cap funds tracked by the investment bank, 157 with $500 billion assets under management did not hold Tesla stock at the start of the fourth quarter, Arjun Menon, Goldman's vice president of U.S. equity strategy, and his team wrote in a Nov. 19 note.

Menon estimated that if each of these funds without Tesla stock added a benchmark-weight position to the stock once it is listed on the S&P 500, flows into Tesla could total $8 billion, roughly 2% of Tesla's market cap.

S&P Dow Jones Indices announced Nov. 16 that it would add Tesla to the S&P 500 by Dec. 21 but said it was still determining how the company, which has a market cap of $386.8 billion, can be best added to the benchmark index.

'Flood of cash'

Tesla's listing on the S&P 500 will mean "a flood of cash pouring Tesla's way as tracker funds pile in," Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst with OANDA, said in a note.

"Not a bad way to cap off 2020, a year in which the share price has risen more than 400% and there's still plenty of time to go," Erlam wrote.

Tesla's stock was relatively flat in early trading Nov. 20 but has jumped more than 22.4% since its S&P 500 inclusion was announced Nov. 16. Tesla stock has skyrocketed nearly 433% on the year.

On Nov. 18, Adam Jones, a Morgan Stanley analyst, upgraded Tesla to overweight following its S&P 500 inclusion, forecasting the stock price could increase by another 50%.

Tesla was unexpectedly left out of the S&P 500 back in September when three new stocks were announced for inclusion on the large-cap index.