Shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) have been on a roller-coaster ride all month, sporting a more than $100 per share trading range over the last few weeks.
Coming into the earnings report on Aug. 1, investors were worried about Tesla's potential cash shortage and its financial situation.
The report wasn't good, but it wasn't as bad as many had feared. Revenue came in at $4 billion, while free cash outflow of $739 million came in better than expected as analysts were looking for $889 million in outflow.
Further, management stuck with its forecast for positive cash flow and GAAP profitability for the remainder of the year, as Model 3 production is going much more smoothly than it was in the first half of the year. The second-quarter report sparked a rally from ~$300 to nearly $350 in a single session.
Despite a much more professional act on the conference call, CEO Elon Musk proved that he's just a tweet away from creating complete chaos. On Aug. 7, he tweeted his intentions to take Tesla private, a situation that's still putting investors through a lot of ups and downs, and seemingly changing by the hour.
While Musk has laid out his intentions to purchase Tesla at $420 per share, the stock has actually continued to fall since his public announcement. So what now? Let's look at some levels to see the must-hold spots.
Shares are down about 3% in midday trading Wednesday, putting the stock near vital support.
We're talking about the $320 to $330-ish level. Near that mark, a lot of levels start to come together. Tesla's recent uptrend (purple line) comes into play, as does its 20-day and 50-day moving averages. While not pictured because it would clutter the charts, the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement sits at $332, based on the stock's high/low range this year.
So what does all of this mean?
Simply put, the ~$330 level is important. Below that and the backside of Tesla's prior downtrend line sits at roughly $320 (blue line), while its 200-day moving average is just below at $318. This is the must-hold range for bulls, otherwise the $300 to $310 area is back in play. Once the stock surged above $360, that was the preferred level for bulls to hold. They failed to do so and as a result, shifted some strength back to the bears.
On the charts, that's the other vital level: $360. For bulls to be truly back in control, they need to reclaim that level. For bears to have a chance at breaking the $330 and $320 levels to the downside, they need to keep Tesla below $360.
Shares have already broken below the "go private" day lows, near $339. If Tesla reclaims that spot, perhaps it can retest $360. How it handles that level will say a lot about the stock.