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Tesla is having its best week since October, but investor says bear case is still strong

The bear case for Tesla remains strong, market watcher says

Tesla is back in gear.

The stock has rallied 12% this week in its best weekly stretch since October. Since a low Monday morning, it has revved 17% higher.

"For the bulls on Tesla you're really happy that the month of May is over and June has come. What a rally in the stock," John Petrides, managing director and portfolio manager at Point View Wealth Management, said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Now Tesla faces two potential paths, he said.

"I really do think the stock is at a crossroads here. Tesla is a very polarizing name. You either have a strong conviction on the upside or you have a strong conviction on the downside – there's no in between," Petrides said.

While bulls have rushed in this week, Tesla still generates a lot of skepticism on Wall Street. The stock is one of the most heavily shorted at 31.4% of its float. High short interest levels indicate a large number of investors are making a bet the shares will move lower.

Petrides said both the bulls and the bears have their talking points, but he leans toward one of those arguments.

"If you're buying here today, you're buying it for the long term. You think that Tesla will continue to dominate the electronic market five years from now. Or you think they're going to drown in their own debt and burn through cash and the stock is going to go consistently lower," he said. "We're on the case of the bear side."

Tesla's high debt load has caused concern among Wall Street firms and investors. Morgan Stanley recently cited Tesla's debt load and access to capital alongside weaker demand as reasons for concern over its stock price. The firm said its worst-case scenario would take the stock down to $10.

"We think that valuation is just not attractive for this capital-intensive business where more competition has come into the market," added Petrides.

Tesla's price-earnings ratio, a measure of valuation, still trades as high as 121 times forward earnings even after the stock's steep decline this year. The Invesco QQQ ETF, which tracks the Nasdaq 100, trades at just 20 times forward earnings.

Even with this week's rally, Tesla shares remain on track for their worst annual performance ever. The stock has fallen 37% since the beginning of the year.