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Expand chart
Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tesla has been among the most derided companies in the world, but CEO Elon Musk has been getting revenge against hated short sellers since the electric car company's June swoon.

Why it matters: Many probably wish Musk had taken the company private at $420 a share, as he said he would in an August 2018 tweet in which he claimed to have "funding secured" for the move.

By the numbers: Short sellers who have bet against Tesla's stock price surrendered a total of $2.89 billion in net-of-financing mark-to-market losses in 2019, and have almost matched that total in less than two weeks of trading in 2020, according to data from S3 Partners.

  • Short sellers are down $2.80 billion in mark-to-market losses, including $1.25 billion in losses on Monday’s 9.77% price move.

Where it stands: Short sellers have largely tapped out as the company's stock has rocketed higher, but some are holding tight.

  • Tesla short interest is $12.79 billion with 26.74 million shares shorted, totaling 20% of its float. It remains the second-largest short in the domestic market behind Apple, S3 said.

What happened: Wall Street has gotten very bullish on Tesla in recent months, pushing the stock's price from $400 to over $500 in less than a month and valuing the company at close to $95 billion.

Between the lines: Musk has 1 billion reasons to keep his foot on the gas pedal.

  • He is now within striking distance of the performance-based stock grants he negotiated in his 2018 compensation package that would award him 1% of the company's stock if it reaches a $100 billion valuation, paying him $1 billion.

Go deeper:

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Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.