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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Tesla Motors will report its third-quarter financials this evening and CEO Elon Musk will speak with analysts.

Why it matters: Even by Tesla standards, this will be a closely watched set of numbers. Musk has pledged that the Silicon Valley automaker would become profitable and cash-flow positive in the second half of the year.

  • The company has only had two profitable quarters in its history.

The intrigue: Tesla surprisingly announced the Oct. 24 date for the quarterly earnings report just 2 days ago. Typically Tesla waits a full month after a quarter ends to report. Per LA Times...

"Speculation on social media ran wild, from bulls saying Tesla doesn’t want stellar results to be drowned out by the midterm election, to bears saying the company has bad news and wants the earnings call over and done."

What they're saying: According to the Wall Street Journal, veteran Tesla analyst Michael Jonas of Morgan Stanley said in a note that the early reporting date is likely a good sign for the company. WSJ says Jones wrote...

"Game theory suggests the early/surprise reporting is good news."
“Tesla is at the most critical point in the ramp of its most important product (Model 3) and is arguably at the most critical point of its liquidity/access to capital since it has been a public company."
"Why would Tesla pull forward the introduction of adverse news into the market now?”

The impact: Tesla's share price climbed almost 13% yesterday and rose around 2% in pre-market trading.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

5 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.