Another random Elon Musk tweet sends a stock soaring

Crafting chaos on the stock market before breakfast? Pretty normal for Elon Musk.
Crafting chaos on the stock market before breakfast? Pretty normal for Elon Musk.
Image: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
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Elon Musk set off market activity again after an early morning tweet.

Musk’s tweets about a purchase made on Etsy for his dog led to an 18% jump in its shares, which climbed to $227.40 shortly after 9am US eastern time today. There was also an immediate spike in trading volume for the  e-commerce platform, which sells crafts, home-goods, and vintage items.

Musk has moved stocks with his tweets before, but last time it was about the wrong company. Two weeks ago, on Jan. 7, the Tesla CEO tweeted “Use Signal,” which was likely about the encrypted messaging service and app developed by the non-profit Signal Foundation, and isn’t publicly traded. Investors and fans of the South African billionaire quickly bought shares of Signal Advance instead, a technology component manufacturing company headquartered in Rosharon, Texas. Signal Advance shares shot up 6350% over three trading sessions.

Etsy has already seen its stock price rise during the pandemic. Ongoing demand for its masks and pandemic-related items, thousands of new sellers, and the overall shift to online retail in several countries due to social distancing measures helped drive its third-quarter sales to 128% year-over-year growth. Even if Musk’s boost is only for the short term, the company has continued its momentum with items from popular television shows, encouragement to support small businesses during the holidays, and even an endorsement from Jen Ellis, whose mittens for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders went viral during US president Joe Biden’s inauguration.

As an Etsy shopper, Musk has plenty of company. During Etsy’s last earnings call, chief executive officer Josh Silverman said there were nearly 10 million new buyers on the platform in the third quarter.

After the morning’s surge, Etsy shares finished the day at $204.41, down $4.40 or more than 2%.

Update: This post has been updated with Etsy’s closing share price.