Elon Musk loses $19 billion in a single day

Tesla’s stock price fell for the fourth day straight on Tuesday after its massive Monday plunge wiped $US15 billion ($A19 billion) off CEO Elon Musk’s net worth.

The electric car maker’s shares dropped as much as 13 per cent to $US619.50 ($A782.55) in early trading, putting it below the price where it entered the S&P 500 index in December.

That followed an 8.5 per cent drop in Tesla shares that caused CEO Elon Musk’s fortune to shrink by $US15.2 billion ($A19 billion) on Monday. His net worth now stands at $US183 billion ($A231 billion), once again making him the world’s second-richest person behind Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, according to Bloomberg’sBillionaires Index.

RELATED:Bitcoin price plunges after Elon’s tweet

Musk may have only himself to blame. Tesla’s stock tanked after his Saturday tweet declaring that the prices of bitcoin and ether, the world’s two largest cryptocurrencies, “seem high lol” – raising questions about the value of the automaker’s $US1.5 billion ($A1.9 billion) investment in the former.

“Since diving into the deep end of the pool with its $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase last month for both good and bad the company’s stock is now heavily tied to this digital currency,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said in a Tuesday research note.

A day earlier, Ives had estimated that Tesla booked a $US1 billion ($A1.3 billion) paper profit on the bitcoin buy before Musk’s post helped drive down the price of the digital coin, which plunged below $US50,000 ($A63,000) early Tuesday morning.

Tesla shares have sunk more than 20 per cent since the Silicon Valley titan disclosed its blockbuster bet on cryptocurrency, which Musk has called a “less dumb form of liquidity than cash.”

But the billionaire tech tycoon remained defiant on Tuesday. When market strategist Peter Schiff pointed out on Twitter that Tesla’s stock had entered a bear market since the bitcoin announcement, Musk simply replied with an eggplant emoji, which Schiff took to mean that he was “basically calling me a dick”.

Tesla also took a hit on Monday after electric vehicle news outlet Electrek reported that the company had stopped taking orders for the cheapest version of its Model Y SUV.

Musk appeared to confirm the news on Twitter, saying he didn’t think “the range, in many drive conditions, yet meets the Tesla standard of excellence”. He said the model was still available “off menu”.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission

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