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Short interest on Tesla is set to make the EV maker's stock the first stock to hit US$20 billion in bets against it, data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners showed, as short sellers seem unfazed by Elon Musk's open mocking in recent days.
Short interest in Tesla has reached US$19.95 billion, S3 Partners data, cited by Business Insider, shows.
While Tesla's stock continues to rally, closing at a record $1,394 on Thursday, Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of S3 Partners, said in a note on the same day that Tesla is a candidate for a short squeeze.
Early on Thursday, Dusaniwsky tweeted that Tesla short interest was $19.19 billion, with 14.05 million shares shorted, or 9.5 percent of the float.
"If Tesla's stock price continues to trend upward, we expect even more short covering as mark-to-market losses accumulate," Dusaniwsky wrote in the note, adding that "Traders can expect a squeeze on their shoulder from their controllers to trim or close out their positions as their Tesla losses breach risk limits."
After the rally of Tesla's stock in recent weeks, Elon Musk mocked last week Tesla's short sellers, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Musk asked, 'Who wears short shorts?', and said that "Tesla will make fabulous short shorts in radiant red satin with gold trim," and "Will send some to the Shortseller Enrichment Commission to comfort them through these difficult times."
Musk also tweeted a profane play on the regulator's initials, "SEC, three letter acronym, middle word is Elon's."
During the weekend, Musk launched the red-and-gold short shorts line, Tesla Short Shorts, on Tesla's website at $69.420 apiece. The description of the short shorts, which sold out in minutes, reads at the end, "Enjoy exceptional comfort from the closing bell."
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.