Tesla stock trading halted after Musk teases taking company private

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A tweet from Tesla boss Elon Musk's account suggests he is "considering" taking the electric auto firm private.

"Yes, might take Tesla private", he said.

The billionaire co-founder of the company took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to say he was "considering taking Tesla private at $420". Mr. Musk has a history of joking on Twitter and sending erratic tweets.

Tesla shares, which were already rising on news of the Gulf investor, spiked in response. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close.

Mr Musk has previously discussed the drawbacks of being a public company, saying shareholder demands often produce short-term thinking.

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"Funding secured", Musk said on Twitter.

On April 1 this year, Musk tweeted, "We are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt". Tesla has always been one of the most-shorted stocks on Wall Street, but so far, the company has not seen the share-price meltdown that shorts expected. I think he's serious.

A short squeeze is a trading scenario that occurs from time to time in heavily shorted stocks, when bearish traders are forced to buy shares to avoid big losses - something that ends up pushing the stock only higher.

He is also under intense pressure to prove he can deliver consistent production numbers for the Model 3 sedan, Tesla's lowest-priced model and the key to its plans to become a mass-market automaker, after a host of manufacturing challenges and concerns it was burning cash too quickly.