Big numbers: Investors who bet against Tesla’s stock have been losing droves of money since the beginning of the year—including $2.5 billion on Monday alone. Tesla has more short sellers than any other U.S. stock—18% of its publicly available shares are sold short, according to data from market analytics firm S3 Partners. Short sellers usually borrow shares from a bank and then sell them with the hopes that the stock will go down so they can profit on the difference. But with Tesla, the stock price has steadily trended higher in 2020, forcing short sellers to take losses when buying back shares at a higher price. If too many short sellers buy the stock in tandem, as is the case with Tesla, that can in fact create higher demand and drive share prices even higher, known as a “short squeeze.” Including the $2.5 billion lost by Tesla short sellers on Monday, investors who bet against the electric-vehicle maker are down a total of $8.3 billion so far this year, according to S3.
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