Tesla shares have hit a speed bump

Elon MuskScreenshot/TeslaTesla CEO Elon Musk.

After rallying almost 80% since the beginning of the year — and looking like $US400 might be in sight — Tesla shares have retreated over the past week to $US360 territory after a top-out at $US384.

What’s pushing the stock down is no more clear than what pushed it up, besides the usual cocktail of greed and fear, shaken by Tesla’s now-legendary volatility.

The only meaningful datapoints on the immediate horizon are second-quarter earnings, due to arrive in about a month; second-quarter deliveries, which Tesla will report in a few days; and the launch of the Model 3 mass-market vehicle.

Earnings should be yet another substantial loss, as Tesla spends cash to launch the Model 3. Deliveries should be in-line with the company’s loose guidance for about 50,000 in the first half of the year, although some Tesla watchers think sales could come in a bit light (under 25,000 vehicles) — ironically a good thing if Tesla is focusing on the Model 3 rollout.

The Model 3 is another story, as Tesla hasn’t said much publicly about what the launch will entail we haven’t seen any teaser images of the production vehicle that provide specific detail. It’s possible that scepticism about how finished a vehicle Tesla will introduce next month is putting onward pressure on the stock.

On Friday, shares recovered slightly from their slide this week, up about 0.5% to $US364 after a Thursday close at $US361.

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

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