Tesla has its busiest trading day since 2014 after Musk tweets he plans to take company private

Key Points
  • More than 30 million shares change hands, despite trading being halted for more than 90 minutes.
  • The stock soars after CEO Elon Musk said he's looking to take the company private.
SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company founder Elon Musk speaks at the 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, in Hawthorne, California on July 22, 2018. 
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Even after an extended trading delay, Tesla had its busiest day on the stock market since 2014.

Some 30.4 million shares traded hands on Tuesday, after CEO Elon Musk put out a surprise tweet announcing his intention to take the electric car company private at $420 a share. It was the most active day for the stock since February 2014, according to FactSet, and fifth-busiest all time for Tesla, which went public in 2010.

Musk tweeted at 12:48 p.m. Eastern time that he had secured financing for a buyout of the company at a 23 percent premium over Monday's closing price. The stock closed up 11 percent at $379.57.

The historically high volume is particularly notable, because trading was halted for over 90 minutes, starting just after 2 p.m., when Tesla informed the Nasdaq that news was pending. The news was a blog post from Musk spelling out in some more detail why he wanted to take the company private, focusing on one of his favorite topics: short sellers.

"As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company," he wrote.

Missing from the statement was any sense of where he would get the financing for a deal. Nevertheless, the stock resumed trading with 15 minutes left in the day, and more than 7 million shares changed hands from that point until the close and into the after market.

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