Elon Musk is no ordinary CEO. The man has become the richest person in the world thanks to the explosive gains in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock, but he also mans the helm of SpaceX.
Then there’s The Boring Company and Neuralink as well. He talks of cryptocurrencies, colonizing Mars, autonomous driving technology and pretty much whatever is on his mind — literally.
Amid these moments, Elon Musk has been able to move certain markets as well. Sometimes it’s Tesla stock or GameStop (NYSE:GME), other times it’s Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) and Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD). Remember when he tweeted about taking Tesla private at $420 a share (pre-split, that would have turned out to be a phenomenal deal)?
But that was so 2019. Let’s see what he did to move markets in 2021:
- The Elon Musk Stock Poll
- Elon Musk vs. Bernie Sanders
- The Bitcoin Saga I: Tesla Accepts Bitcoin
- The Bitcoin Saga II: No Longer Accepted
- The Bitcoin Saga III: Maybe Tesla Will Accept It
- Elon Musk Makes GameStop Into GameStonk
- Elon Musk Loves Doge
The Elon Musk Stock Poll
Perhaps the most notable event (or at least, notable to me) was when Elon Musk tweeted out a poll asking whether he should sell 10% of his holdings in Tesla.
The move seemed stunning and considering the circumstances in hindsight, rather interesting. A majority of voters ended up saying “yes” to the question, which opened the floodgates for more selling pressure in the stock price.
What made it “rather interesting” is that Musk needed to sell the stock to cover his expenses due to exercising an enormous amount of stock options. What would have happened if the people voted no?
Tesla stock held up surprisingly well during the relentless reports of Musk selling stock nearly through year-end. That said, shares did fall almost 5% in the first trading day after the tweet, then 12% the next day before stabilizing.
However, I will never forget the way he broached the topic.
Elon Musk vs. Bernie Sanders
Keeping with the theme of selling stock, Musk responded to a tweet by Senator Bernie Sanders regarding the wealthy paying their fair share.
As Musk was offloading billions of dollars worth of stock to pay his fair share, he began spatting with Sanders (who wouldn’t reply).
At one point on Sunday night, Musk said “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word…”
The stock, which had suffered a peak-to-trough decline of 7.8% in the prior day, continued to slide on the following day of trading, although it recovered most of its losses by the end of trading that day.
It was hectic period for Tesla bulls, that’s for sure.
The Bitcoin Saga I: Tesla Accepts Bitcoin
Tesla had already purchased more than $1 billion worth of Bitcoin, so it was only natural for the company to eventually accept it as payment.
On March 24, Musk simply tweeted that “You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin.”
The tweet initially sent Bitcoin ripping higher on the day. Although it pulled back over the next day or two, it went on to rally about 20% over the next week and hit new highs about three weeks later. To think this wasn’t a catalyst would be foolish.
In a follow-up tweet, he added that, “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency.”
The Bitcoin Saga II: No Longer Accepted
Almost two months after Musk said that Tesla would accept Bitcoin as payment, he pulled back on the offer.
He argued that due to the impact that Bitcoin mining has on the environment, it was not something the electric vehicle maker could endorse.
While Elon Musk praised cryptocurrencies in general and reiterated his belief in its “promising future,” he nonetheless pulled the plug. Specifically, he wrote:
“Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”
However, Musk said the company would not be selling any Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin Saga III: Maybe Tesla Will Accept It
After being accused of a pump-and-dump scheme regarding Tesla and Bitcoin, Musk tweeted that that was not the case.
The EV maker sold 10% of its Bitcoin holding to test the liquidity of the market without actually moving the market prices, Musk reasoned. He then added that Tesla would resume accepting payments in Bitcoin, but under one condition:
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”
At the time, Bitcoin was in quite the slump, down 40% from the highs coming into that day on June 13. Bitcoin rallied a bit higher in the following two days. However, it went to make new lows a few weeks later.
Elon Musk Makes GameStop Into GameStonk
Remember January 2021? It was a completely different time for the stock market. Investors were popping off short squeezes left and right and there were talks of certain hedge funds going down as a result.
At the time, GameStop was leading the Reddit-fueled short squeeze of a lifetime. The retailer was once left for dead, but was now hitting new all-time highs and on its way to gains that were in the thousands of percent.
Do you really think Elon Musk is sitting that Twitter session out?
Maybe they didn’t need Musk’s help with this one, but it never hurts in a situation like this. After rallying 92% on January 26th, Musk tweeted “Gamestonk!!”
The next day, GameStop roared higher by more than 130% before all-time highs in the following session.
Elon Musk Loves Doge
Musk didn’t keep his thoughts on crypto limited to Bitcoin. He talked of owning Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) at a conference with Cathie Wood (which helped the entire crypto market bottom) and has tweeted consistently in favor of Dogecoin.
While Dogecoin garnered some interest in January and February — and also with some help from Musk — it really took off in April.
In a couple of days in mid-April, it rallied more than 600%. From April 8 to May 8, it rallied more than 1,000%, with plenty of Musk tweets in between.
But that was only part 1 — or at least, we’ll consider it part 1.
Part 2 came on Dec. 14, when Musk said, “Tesla will make some merch buyable with Doge & see how it goes.”
Dogecoin closed higher by more than 20% that day, but was up almost 40% at one point in the session.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.