Tesla Stock Barely Budged Tuesday. Here’s What History Says Happens Next.

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A general view of the Tesla Assembly plant

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images


stock continued its recent winning streak Tuesday, by the slimmest of margins—shares inched up just 7 cents. It’s very rare Tesla stock does nothing. And when it does nothing, it is actually a good sign for investors.

Tesla (ticker: TSLA) stock closed at $709.75, up 0.0099%. The

S&P 500


Dow Jones Industrial Average

both closed up about 0.8%. Tesla stock has risen for five consecutive trading sessions, adding 10.1%.

Better than expected earnings appear to have catalyzed the jump. Shares dipped the day after reporting second-quarter numbers, but quickly recovered and have been higher since the July 28 report.

Wednesday could mean more gains for Tesla shareholders. Barron’s found Tesla stock has moved less than 0.1%, up or down 9 times since the start of 2019—including Tuesday. It happens once every 70-or-so trading days. Six of the eight times prior to Tuesday, shares rose the following day by an average of 1.8%. The S&P 500 was flat, on average, on those days.

Predicting one-day stock performance based on a prior day, frankly, isn’t great analysis. But Tesla, as ever, is a special case that gets endless scrutiny from Wall Street analysts, investors, and the press.

And Tuesday was a slow news day for the world’s most valuable car company. Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Potter reviewed second-quarter numbers and Tesla’s quarterly filing in a research report, but not much changed.

“Bottom line: We still really like this stock,” wrote Potter. He points out that Tesla is the number one EV brand in the U.S., the number two brand in China, and the number two brand in Europe. Potter maintained his Buy-rating and $1,200 price target—the highest target price on Wall Street.

Looking at one-day performance trends is also an opportunity to remind investors that the chance a stock rises or falls on a given day is a little better than a coin flip—a 50/50 bet. Tesla stock, since the start of 2019, has risen 350 times and dropped 301 times. The numbers for the S&P 500 are 376 up days and 275 down days. It makes some sense stocks rise more often than they fall, the stock market tends to go up over time.

Tesla stock so far in 2021 is, essentially, flat. Shares have paused after an epic 743% gain in 2020.

Corrections & Amplifications:Tesla stock is flat in 2021. An earlier version of this article said it was flat in 2020.

Write to allen.root@dowjones.com

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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