Tesla’s bitcoin holdings grew to $2.5 billion in the 1st quarter, SEC filings show

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Tesla and its boss Elon Musk have been key drivers of bitcoin-mania

  • Tesla’s bitcoin holdings were worth $2.48 billion at the end of the first quarter, SEC filings show.
  • The electric vehicle manufacturer initially bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin in January and now accepts the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its products.
  • Tesla said it sold 10% of its bitcoin holdings worth $272 million in the first quarter to prove its liquidity.
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Tesla owned $2.48 billion worth of bitcoin at the end of the first quarter, according to the company’s first-quarter SEC filings.

The electric vehicle manufacturer initially bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin in January and now accepts the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its products. It is unclear if Tesla received any bitcoin for its products in the first quarter.

Bitcoin surged more than 100% in the first three months of 2021, meaning that Tesla’s is sitting on significant unrealized gains with its crypto position.

The company said it sold $272 million of bitcoin in the first quarter, recognizing a profit of $101 million. Musk said the bitcoin sale in the first quarter was to prove that it is liquid and an alternative to cash.

The CEO said in a tweet responding to David Portnoy’s criticism of bitcoin as a “pump and dump” scheme: “…I have not sold any of my Bitcoin. Tesla sold 10% of its holdings essentially to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet.”

Tesla’s owned 41,953 bitcoin at the end of the first quarter, based off of the cryptocurrency’s closing price of $59,114 on March 31.

Bitcoin has staged a volatile trading path in April, with the cryptocurrency hitting a record high of almost $65,000 before tumbling more than 20% to below $50,000. Bitcoin has since recovered some of its losses and is trading at $55,180 as of Wednesday morning.

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‘Remain cautious on lofty valuation’: Here’s what 4 Wall Street analysts expect from Tesla’s 1st-quarter earnings report

elon musk
Elon Musk

  • Tesla is set to report first-quarter earnings on Monday as investors seek to quantify the impact of global chip shortages on the auto-makers business.
  • First-quarter deliveries already exceeded analyst estimates and some think Tesla can deliver up to 900,000 vehicles in 2021.
  • Detail below is what four Wall Street analysts expect from Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report.
  • Watch Tesla trade live here.

Tesla will report its first-quarter earnings after the market closes on Monday, and all eyes will be on guidance as the company grapples with a shortage in semiconductors.

The company already reported first-quarter deliveries earlier this month, which exceeded analyst expectations. The company said it delivered 184,800 vehicles in the quarter, representing a new record. Most of those deliveries consisted of the Model 3 and Model Y, rather than the higher-priced Model S and Model X.

The average analyst estimate for Tesla’s upcoming earnings report includes revenue of $10.3 billion and earnings per share of $0.79, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

As a whole, Wall Street remains skeptical on Tesla despite its ramping up of vehicle production over the past year. The company currently has only four buy ratings, eight hold ratings, and seven sell ratings among analysts.

Detailed below is what four Wall Street analysts expect from Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report.

JPMorgan: ‘Remain cautious on lofty valuation’

Tesla’s strong first quarter deliveries already spurred JPMorgan to increase its earnings estimates for the company earlier this month. But the bank remains cautious on Tesla, assigning the company an Underweight rating and price target of $155, representing downside potential of 78% from Friday’s close.

“While our blended price target of $155 implies -79% downside, we do not regard it as ungenerous as it actually values Tesla as the world’s second largest automaker by market capitalization, behind Toyota and roughly tied with Volkswagen despite the automakers each currently selling on the order of magnitude of 15-20x as many vehicles annually as Tesla,” JPMorgan said.

“Tesla’s current valuation appears to us to insufficiently incorporate what is likely to be greatly intensified competition in the market for battery electric vehicles and leaves little room for less than perfect execution,” JPMorgan concluded.

Read more: JPMorgan’s quant guru shares his top 5 trades to profit from the busiest 2 weeks of a promising earnings season

Credit Suisse: ‘Upside likely from regulatory credits’

Credit Suisse is ahead of consensus expectations for Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report, and sees three key themes that investors will focus on.

“Launch of new capacity remains most critical, especially in Europe,” Credit Suisse said, adding that Tesla’s Berlin factory is of highest priority as it enables Tesla to capitalize on the electric vehicle opportunity in Europe.

“1Q delivery beat reinforces upside on 2021 deliveries,” Credit Suisse said. The bank expects Tesla to deliver 929,000 vehicles in 2021, well ahead of consensus estimates of 831,000. “We expect benefit from continued ramp of China production, industry strength in US and China, and as the launch of the Berlin and Austin facilities in 2H21,” Credit Suisse said.

“Gross margin could see little upside, but investors would look past any softness,” the bank said, adding that volume strength in the quarter will likely be offset by cost inefficiencies, a negative mix of model sales, and a reduction in vehicle prices.

Credit Suisse maintains a Neutral rating for Tesla and a price target of $800.

Wedbush: ‘Expecting good news from Musk and Co.’

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives thinks Tesla will easily be able to beat Wall Street estimates for its first-quarter earnings given the company’s strong Q1 deliveries “and tight expense controls seen in Fremont.”

“The street is now laser focused on gauging the annual delivery trajectory for 2021… which we expect to drive the stock much higher over the coming months,” Ives said.

“We now believe Tesla could exceed 850,000 deliveries for the year with 900,000 as a stretch goal, despite the chip shortage and various supply chain issues lingering across the auto sector,” Wedbush said.

“We believe the tide is turning on the Street and the ‘eye popping’ delivery numbers coming out of China cannot be ignored with the trajectory on pace to represent ~40% of deliveries for Musk & Co. by 2022,” Ives concluded.

Wedbush maintains an Outperform rating for Tesla and a price target of $1,000.

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 45 ‘global-facing’ stocks set to benefit from the worldwide growth boom as the pace in the US begins to slow

RBC: ‘We expect some supply chain issues’

RBC tweaked its first-quarter earnings estimates for Tesla following the release of its delivery figures earlier this month. RBC expects $10.5 billion in revenue for the quarter, which is lower than its previous estimate due to lower deliveries of the Model S and X, which command higher prices and profit margins.

RBC’s estimates include $400 million in regulatory credits, which Tesla sells to other automakers that don’t produce enough electric vehicles based on government mandates.

“On the call, we believe the items that will be in focus are auto-gross margins, free cash flow, capacity expansion updates, product updates and commentary about the impact of the semi-shortage to 2021 deliveries,” RBC said.

The firm lowered its 2021 delivery estimates to 825,000 from 860,000, “given we expect some supply chain issues,” RBC said. RBC maintains a Sector Perform rating for Tesla and a price target of $725.

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Tesla falls after reports of fatal driverless car crash in Texas

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  • Two men died on Saturday night in a fiery crash after their 2019 Tesla Model S failed to negotiate a curve.
  • Tesla’s stock fell as much as 6.5% on Monday after the news broke.
  • Tesla’s recent safety figures still show the carmaker is one of the safest around.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla stock sank as much as 6.5% on Monday after reports of a fatal driverless car crash outside of Houston, Texas stirred investors.

Two men died on Saturday night when a 2019 Tesla Model S driving at high speed failed to negotiate a curve on a windy road in Spring, Texas.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said in an interview that, based on a preliminary investigation, there was no evidence anyone was at the wheel of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

“Our preliminary investigation is determining-but it’s not complete yet-that there was no one at the wheel of that vehicle. We’re almost 99.9% sure,” the constable said, per the Wall Street Journal.

The NHTSA has launched more than two dozen advanced driver-assistance-related investigations into crashes involving Tesla vehicles amid the company’s autonomous driving push.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s chairman, Robert L. Sumwalt, has also criticized Tesla on a number of occasions for their lack of compliance with regulators regarding self-driving tech.

In a 2020 NTSB meeting, Sumwalt said, “It is foreseeable that some drivers will attempt to inappropriately use driving automation systems. To counter this possibility, in 2017 we issued 2 recommendations to 6 automobile manufacturers. Five manufacturers responded favorably that they were working to implement these recommendations. Tesla ignored us.”

Just last week, Ford’s CEO also took a shot at Tesla on Twitter when announcing his company’s driverless tech, saying “BlueCruise! We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to.”

Despite the recent crash, NHTSA investigations, and criticism from the competition, Tesla’s recent safety report shows its cars are some of the safest on the road.

In the first quarter of 2021, Tesla registered one accident for every 4.19 million miles driven when Autopilot was engaged. For comparison, The NHTSA’s most recent data shows there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles on average in the US.

Even with a strong safety record, high-profile crashes like this one usually hurt Tesla’s stock.

The bearish fatal crash news also comes as Cathie Wood, one of Tesla’s biggest supporters, continues to sell shares.

Wood’s flagship exchange-traded fund, the ARK Innovation ETF, sold some 272,427 shares of Tesla last week. While Wood’s ARK Next Generation Internet ETF sold an additional 104,869 shares of the electric car maker.

As of Monday’s intraday high, the shares were worth roughly $271 million.

Tesla’s stock was down 3.62% as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday.

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Not owning Tesla stock is the greater risk ahead of massive infrastructure package, Morgan Stanley says

Tesla Shanghai China Factory
Tesla TKed Wall Street’s expectations.

  • Morgan Stanley said Tesla will have a huge advantage ahead of President Biden’s infrastructure bill.

  • Biden’s $2 trillion proposal carved out $174 billion for the electric vehicle sector alone.
  • If this passes, the bank said this would exacerbate Tesla’s advantage over other players.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Among the companies that stand at an advantage ahead of President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure bill is Tesla, according to Morgan Stanley analysts, and owning the stock they say may be a bigger risk than not.

Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal carved out $174 billion for the electric vehicle sector alone, as the president aims to better equip American companies to compete with China, which is currently the market leader in the electric vehicle space.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley led by Adam Jones said in a note published Wednesday that Biden’s bill will increase Tesla’s advantage over legacy players and new entrants altogether.

The policy used to accelerate sales of electric vehicles will slow sales of internal combustion engine cars, the analysts said.

The analysts did warn that the build-out may follow a volatile and non-linear path.

“It will likely be complicated by a labyrinth of national and local laws that will present advantages and disadvantages to various automakers, depending on the year that you choose to analyze,” they said. “Put it all together and we believe auto investors face greater risk not owning Tesla shares in their portfolio than owning Tesla shares.”

The electric carmaker last week revealed that 184,800 vehicles were delivered and 180,338 cars were produced for the first three months of 2021, despite major production and supply-chain headwinds. Tesla in the final quarter of last year delivered 180,570 cars.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said the first-quarter results were a “paradigm changer” and show that the global pent-up demand for Tesla’s Model 3 and Y is just about to hit its next stage of growth.

The strong start of the year for the company proved that founder Elon Musk’s efforts to shore up global operations in Europe and China are paying off.

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Tesla stock is soaring on record quarterly deliveries, but the EV maker is ‘barely growing’, stock research chief says

esla head Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany.
Tesla head Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany.

Tesla stock is soaring after posting record quarterly delivery figures and landing continued support from analysts, but not everyone on the Street believes in the EV maker.

GLJ Research CEO Gordon Johnson told CNBC on Monday that he wasn’t impressed by Tesla’s recent delivery figures. The CEO holds a $67 price target on shares of the EV leader.

Johnson argued Tesla is “barely growing” despite “15 price cuts in the first quarter of this year” in his interview with CNBC’s Morgan Brennan and Loop Ventures’ Gene Munster.

The stock research chief said that “year-over-year growth is irrelevant” at Tesla due to changing sales patterns and a Chinese rollout and noted that the EV maker turned in just 2% sequential growth from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year.

According to Johnson, Tesla “picked the low hanging fruit of entering the world’s largest three auto markets, US, China, Europe, and their sales grew just 2% quarter over quarter, despite 15 price cuts in the first quarter this year, 18 price cuts in total last year, and 52,500 more cars of capacity sold. “

Johnson also noted that Tesla sold “significantly less higher-margin S and X cars and significantly more lower margin model 3 and Y cars in the quarter.” According to the CEO, that could mean a $300 to $500 million hit to the company’s bottom line.

“So you’re looking at a company, a high growth company, that’s barely growing, is losing more money doing so, and is going to see all of its credit sales disappear next year,” Johnson said. “We see that as a big problem.”

Johnson was referring to tax credits that Tesla buyers receive for purchasing an electric, emissions-free vehicle. The credits are set to disappear in 2022, but some analysts believe President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan will restore them before that happens.

Johnson also compared Tesla to Volkswagen in the interview, arguing Tesla’s current valuation doesn’t make any sense in relation to its peers.

Tesla is valued at close to $700 billion despite selling just 184,000 cars in the first quarter, while VW sells about 2.5 million cars a quarter and is valued at roughly $140 billion.

Some say Tesla’s valuation is based on its growth, but with the EV maker growing sales at just 2% sequentially, Johnson said he doesn’t “know what people are talking about when they say this is transformational growth.”

Read more: RBC says to buy these 30 high-conviction stocks that represent its analysts’ top global ideas for 2021 amid an economic reopening and rising inflation expectations

Gene Munster, Loup Ventures founder, commented after Johnson’s argument and said that he believes it’s unfair to look at sequential growth due to the first quarter being a “seasonally light quarter.”

Munster said he believes competition is the biggest risk to Tesla, but as long as the “value of car exceeds the competition” that Tesla will be able to “continue to have a measurable piece of a massive total addressable market.”

Dan Ives of Wedbush put out a note on Monday upgrading Tesla to an “outperform” rating and tagging a $1000 price target on the EV giant.

The analyst said he expects a roughly “$10,000 credit to catalyze EV consumer demand” moving forward.

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2 reasons why buying a Tesla with bitcoin is a bad idea

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Tesla and its boss Elon Musk have been key drivers of bitcoin-mania


Tesla is now accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its vehicles, making it one of the first companies to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its products.

The move came two months after Tesla purchased $1.5 billion of bitcoin, as CEO Elon Musk continues to lend his support to the cryptocurrency. Musk said that any bitcoin received by the company as a form of payment won’t be converted into fiat currency, signaling that Musk is bullish on the long-term potential of the cryptocurrency.

But Tesla’s decision to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for its vehicles could be a bad deal for consumers that decide to follow through with the offer for two key reasons.

First, consumers that purchase a Tesla with bitcoin will face tax consequences, especially if they are sitting on large unrealized gains, as sending bitcoin is a taxable event akin to selling a stock.

Cathie Wood of Ark Invest suggests bitcoin investors that are sitting on large unrealized gains not sell or transact in the cryptocurrency until potential tax changes by the IRS are implemented. If the IRS were to reclassify bitcoin as a currency rather than property, the tax burden could be significantly less for investors.

Second, in the event that a consumer decides to return its Tesla bought with bitcoin, Tesla reserves the right to pay the consumer back in cash worth the original purchase price, not bitcoin, if the cryptocurrency has jumped in value since the original transaction.

Alternatively, Tesla reserves the right to pay the consumer back in the original amount of bitcoin paid if the cryptocurrency has fallen in value since the original transaction. On top of that, if a consumer overpays in bitcoin, Tesla reserves the right to not return the over payment to the consumer.

The reasoning behind Tesla’s decision is due to the high volatility of bitcoin, which has seen single day price movements of more than 10% in both directions. On Thursday, bitcoin fell as much as 7%, pushing it near the key $50,000 level.

Read more: Cathie Wood says Tesla’s stock is going to $3,000 by 2025. 2 market experts break down whether that’s realistic and the catalysts that might lead the EV maker there.

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Tesla jumps 6% after Cathie Wood says the stock can hit $3,000 because of possible robotaxi service

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  • Tesla jumped as much as 6% on Monday after Cathie Wood released a new $3,000 price target for the EV manufacturer.
  • Much of the upside potential for Tesla is predicated on its ability to launch an autonomous robotaxi service, according to Ark.
  • In a bear and bull case scenario, Ark expects Tesla to trade in between $1,400 and $4,000 per share, respectively.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Tesla jumped as much as 6% on Monday after Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood assigned a new 2025 price target of $3,000 for the EV manufacturer, representing potential upside of 359% from Friday’s close.

That’s a sizable increase from Ark’s previous 2024 price target of $1,400, and would give Tesla a valuation of about $3 trillion. Investors are taking notice due to the accuracy of Wood’s previous eye-popping price predictions for Tesla stock.

The price target incorporates expectations that Tesla will launch an autonomous robotaxi service built upon its full self-driving tech platform, which could bring in as much as $327 billion in revenue, according to Ark.

“In preparation for its robotaxi service, Tesla could launch a human-driven ride-hail network first, delivering a highly profitable recurring revenue stream and limiting the downside of a failed autonomous service,” Ark explained.

In its bear case, Ark expects Tesla to trade to $1,500 per share as it sells 5 million cars per year. In its bull case, Ark expects Tesla to trade to $4,000 per share as it sells upwards of 10 million cars per year. In 2020, Tesla sold about 500,000 vehicles.

The valuation model utilized by Ark incorporates Tesla’s relatively new insurance business, but doesn’t include its energy storage and solar business, nor its $1.5 billion allocation to bitcoin.

Tesla remains the largest holding for Ark Invest across all of its ETF strategies, and this isn’t the first time the investment management firm had a sky-high price target for Tesla.

In 2018, Wood said Tesla would hit $4,000 when the stock was trading at a split-adjusted price of about $250. The stock went on to trade at a split-adjusted price of $4,500 in early 2021, two years ahead of schedule.

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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest expects Tesla to soar to $3,000 per share by 2025 on robotaxi service

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  • Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest now expects Tesla to soar 359% to $3,000 per share by 2025.
  • Much of the upside for Tesla is predicated on its ability to launch an autonomous robotaxi service, according to Ark.
  • In a bear and bull case scenario, Ark expects Tesla to trade in between $1,400 and $4,000 per share, respectively.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest is out with a new eye-popping price target for Tesla, and investors are taking notice due to the accuracy of its previous price predictions on the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Ark now expects Tesla to hit $3,000 per share by 2025, representing a potential upside of 359% from Friday’s close and a market valuation of about $3 trillion. That’s a sizable increase from its previous 2024 price target of $1,400.

The price target incorporates expectations that Tesla will launch an autonomous robotaxi service built upon its full self-driving tech platform, which could bring in as much as $327 billion in revenue, according to Ark.

“In preparation for its robotaxi service, Tesla could launch a human-driven ride-hail network first, delivering a highly profitable recurring revenue stream and limiting the downside of a failed autonomous service,” Ark explained.

In its bear case, Ark expects Tesla to trade to $1,500 per share as it sells 5 million cars per year. In its bull case, Ark expects Tesla to trade to $4,000 per share as it sells upwards of 10 million cars per year. In 2020, Tesla sold about 500,000 vehicles.

The valuation model utilized by Ark incorporates Tesla’s relatively new insurance business, but doesn’t include its energy storage and solar business, nor its $1.5 billion allocation to bitcoin.

Tesla remains the largest holding for Ark Invest across all of its ETF strategies, and this isn’t the first time the investment management firm had a sky-high price target for Tesla.

In 2018, Wood said Tesla would hit $4,000 when the stock was trading at a split-adjusted price of about $250. The stock went on to trade at a split-adjusted price of $4,500 in early 2021, two years ahead of schedule.

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The sell-off in Tesla is a ‘massive buying opportunity’ before the company hits $1 trillion market valuation this year, according to Wedbush

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  • The more than 30% decline in shares of Tesla over the past month represents “a massive buying opportunity,” according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
  • In a note on Monday, Ives said the the recent pullback in EV stocks is short-term in nature as companies digest their recent gains before the next leg higher.
  • “We believe Tesla will hit a trillion dollar market cap in 2021 given the bullish EV secular thesis set to play out over the coming years,” Ives said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Investors looking for “a massive buying opportunity” should look at Tesla, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note on Monday.

Shares of Tesla are off 33% from its all-time high, as a surge in interest rates over the past month has sparked a rotation out of high-growth tech stocks and into cyclical stocks poised to benefit from a reopening of the economy.

Ives said three factors have also hurt Tesla shares in recent weeks, including valuation concerns, increased global competition in the electric vehicle space, and a shortage in chips and China demand “causing softness out of the gates so far in 2021,” according to the note.

But now “is not the time to panic,” as the recent weakness in EV stocks is short-term in nature as companies digest their gains before the next leg higher.

“The sell-off we have seen in EV land creates a massive buying opportunity in our opinion to own Chinese EV players as well as the leader of the pack Tesla heading into this golden age of EVs,” Ives explained. 

The fundamentals remain strong for the space, as tax incentives and a green energy agenda from President Joe Biden’s administration should help spur significant demand for EVs over the coming months, the note said.

Ives expects EV sales to represent 20% of all auto sales globally by 2030, a significant increase from the current 3% penetration today.

Ultimately, Ives sees significant upside for Tesla, given that he expects the company to hit a $1 trillion market valuation before year-end. With a current market capitalization of $574 billion, Tesla would have to surge 75% to hit a $1 trillion valuation, assuming the company’s outstanding shares remained constant.

“In the EV party, its 8pm, not 2am,” Ives said. 

Read more: Wedbush says to buy these 16 stocks that represent its analysts’ best ideas and are set to outperform in the next 6-12 months

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Tesla extends 3-day slide to 15% as tech sell-off continues following comments from Fed chief

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A Tesla supercharger station at Burbank Town Center, in Burbank on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 in Burbank, CA.

Shares of Tesla tumbled for a third day, extending their decline to 15% amid a wider tech sell-off as investors reallocate their portfolios away from stocks that outperformed during the pandemic. Comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell failed to ease concerns around both a spike in inflation and a sustained rise in interest rates.

Powell’s lack of comment on the rise in long-term borrowing costs sent the 10-year Treasury yield to 1.53% Thursday. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit, the Fed chair did admit that the recent jump “caught [his] attention”.

Still, policy changes could come as soon as the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on March 16-17. 

Peloton and Zoom also saw shares nosedive, sending the Nasdaq 100 toward a correction, typically a 10% slide from a peak. The Nasdaq has thus far erased its year-to-date gain from its February 12 record close. As of 2:15 PM ET, the index had declined by nearly 3%. The S&P 500 also briefly saw 2021 gains erased, but recovered slightly. 

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