Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Wall Street analysts are reacting negatively to the Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which sent the automaker's stock sharply lower.

Why it matters: In the past year, Elon Musk has evolved from one of Tesla's biggest assets to one of its biggest risks.

What analysts are saying:

  • Brian Johnson, Barclays: "While Tesla may still have value as a niche automaker, the premium the shareholders have been willing to pay for future founder-driven business optionality is likely to dissipate."
  • Romit Shah, Nomura Instinet (who recently called Tesla "uninvestable"): "We believe that the removal of Mr. Musk as Chairman and CEO could have wide ranging impacts on the company, its brand, and its ability to raise funds."
  • Colin Langan, UBS: "Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, we continue to estimate Tesla will need to raise capital in 2019. Technically, Tesla could still raise capital despite the lawsuit against Musk; however, it may be more challenging if investors are concerned about Musk’s ongoing role at the company... Without Musk, investors may no longer be willing to continue funding a company that has never reported an annual profit."
  • David Whiston, Morningstar Research: "We see immense key-man risk for the stock, as Tesla's fate is closely linked to Musk's actions. Should he leave the company, we would not be surprised to see the stock fall dramatically."

Go deeper: Elon Musk throws a Tesla tantrum by refusing to settle

Go deeper

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

2 hours ago - Science

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.