Tesla plunges below its S&P 500 entry

Tesla Inc. shares are trading below the level where they were when the electric-car maker entered the S&P 500 Index in December.

The stock dropped as much as 9% to $650 premarket in New York, after falling a similar amount on Monday.

Through Monday’s close, the stock was down 21% from its Jan. 25 record intraday high. If these declines hold in regular trading, the shares would wipe out all their gains so far this year.

Tesla’s early-week decline amid a wider market sell-off was fueled in part by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high.”

The concerns over the value of the cryptocurrency helped erase some of Bitcoin’s gains, which had rocketed to new highs after Tesla announced two weeks ago it added $1.5 billion in Bitcoin to its balance sheet.

Smaller electric vehicle stocks, that typically take their daily trading cues from Tesla, also dropped sharply in premarket trading. The breakneck rally in many of the pure-play EV makers has slowed down considerably in the new year as investors grew wary of increasing competition from traditional auto companies, such as General Motors and Ford.

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