Tesla Inc. (TSLA) has been as volatile as ever.
To say that it's been a bizarre six weeks would be putting it mildly, even for a stock like Tesla. The often emotional debate between bulls and bears is no surprise, given the battleground nature of this hotly contested stock. Extreme bulls are convinced Tesla is a 10-bagger or more, while bears are waiting for a bankruptcy filing any day.
Both groups are waiting as the story line (and the stock's price action) continues to get more erratic.
In early August, shares of Tesla began scorching higher, after the company reported second-quarter results. Earnings slightly missed expectations, but revenue rang in at $4 billion and topped analysts' expectations. Production was solid, cash burn was better-than-expected and management reiterated its expectation to be cash flow positive and GAAP profitable in Q3 and Q4.
The stock was teetering on a multi-year breakout as a result.
But cold water was thrown on the rally, thanks to a "go private" tweet from CEO Elon Musk. At first, this added fuel to the rally fire, but reality quickly set in - even for many of the bulls. Tweeting to take the company private, with an added note of "funding secured," during market hours with no warning caused more questions than answers.
As doubt and worry crept in over any possible SEC repercussions, shares fell back into the low-$300s. Tesla then announced it would remain a public company. Then the Joe Rogan interview happened, causing even more controversy.
It's been one thing after another with Tesla and as uncertainty adds up, as many investors know, the stock price has gone lower. That's because investors don't like uncertainty and with Tesla, they're getting plenty of it right now. So what do the charts look like, after Friday's 6.3% decline and Monday's subsequent rebound of about 8%.
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Trading Tesla Stock
There are a lot of past trend lines, support/resistance zones and notable levels. But let's ignore the full-blown chart with all the levels for a minute and focus on the more immediate trading zones.
The bounce off Friday's lows have been impressive, with Tesla stock now up nearly 10% from those marks. However, the stock has essentially filled the gap just below $280 that was created by Tesla's big fall on Friday. That mid-$270 area has been pretty good support for Tesla over the past six months. With its low on Friday, we can draw a trend line from its April lows, marking one more level of support for the stock should this range give way.
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Worth pointing out is sentiment for the stock.
Michael Bozzello, director of community at StockTwits, gave TheStreet an update on the numbers. Bullish sentiment in Tesla has been cratering, which is no surprise given the chaos, uncertainty and stock price. At the beginning of September it stood at 55%, on the lower end for Tesla this year. However, it quickly dropped to 49% at one point Friday, before rebounding to 50.4%.
Its low for the year came back on April 2, interestingly where Tesla stock bottomed, but that was with a bullish sentiment reading of 42%. That could suggest more downside is in store before a potential bottom is in place. That said, Tesla has only registered a closing sentiment reading below 50% once since June, that coming on Aug. 20, before rebounding higher.
Aggressive bulls can consider a position in the stock, while paying special attention to the $270 and $252 levels for a stop-loss, respectively. On Monday, Tesla stock actually closed above the $280 mark, finishing up near $285. That put it on course to retest the $290 level and ultimately the $300 to $310 range. With Tuesday's early 2.5% fall though, it's clear volatility remains high in this name. Tesla is not for the faint of heart.