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Friday's Energy Stocks: Tesla plummets on Musk interview, accounting chief exit

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


Friday's Energy Stocks: Tesla plummets on Musk interview, accounting chief exit

Markets were down on Friday, Sept. 7, following a report that President Donald Trump is considering new levies on an additional $267 billion worth of products from China even before making a decision on whether to impose steep tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.31% at 25,916.54, while the S&P 500 retreated 0.22% to 2,871.68.

Tesla Inc. shares plunged 6.30% on more than twice the average trading volume to $263.24, after short seller Andrew Left of Citron Research sued Tesla and CEO Elon Musk over alleged violations of federal securities laws. Musk also appeared in Joe Rogan's podcast, during which he smoked marijuana and drank whiskey.

Further dragging the company's shares was Dave Morton's exit as chief accounting officer of Tesla, after concluding that he was not being heard on a potential take-private deal. Morton joined Tesla on Aug. 6; the next day, Musk tweeted his interest in taking Tesla private at $420 a share and said he had secured funding.

Among other solar stocks, First Solar Inc. fell 3.27% to $48.51, SunPower Corp. shed 2.45% to $6.37, while Canadian Solar Inc. gained 2.30% to $14.65, all in light trading.

Electric utilities also suffered on the last trading day of the week, as the S&P 500 Utilities Sector sank 1.20% to 272.37.

Moody's downgraded ratings on San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Edison International and its subsidiary Southern California Edison Co., and PG&E Corp. and its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co., citing recent California legislation that did not go far enough in limiting wildfire liability exposure for the utilities.

SDG&E parent company Sempra Energy retreated 1.00% to $116.85, Edison International declined 1.20% to $66.66, while PG&E ticked up 0.55% to $45.78, all on below-average volume.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings revised the ratings outlook of Duke Energy Corp. to stable from negative and affirmed the long-term issuer default rating of the company at BBB+. Duke was down 1.20% on thin volume to end the week at $82.47.

Shares of Hydro One Ltd. rose 1.68% in light trading to settle at C$19.39, following the appointment of Chris Lopez as acting CFO, and Tom Woods as new board chair.

Among oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. climbed 1.70% in heavy trading to close at $81.83, while Cimarex Energy Co. declined 2.20% on about average volume to end at $83.59, and Phillips 66 dipped 2.06% in active trading to finish at $114.30.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector dipped 0.02% to 534.93, while the Alerian MLP Index ended 0.35% lower at 279.06.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.